The Friends of Pelham Bay Park welcomed nearly 100 supporters at their spring fundraiser at the Pelham-Split Rock Golf Clubhouse. The unseasonably warm weather and lovely Art Deco surroundings contributed to an evening of fun and camaraderie, all in a highly successful effort to help build “Pond Walk,” a new Park initiative.
Funds raised will help create an accessible path, “Pond Walk,” with a viewing platform that will allow children with physical impairments and special needs to experience nature more intimately at the edge of a small seasonal pond in the Park’s Playground for All Children. Currently, no one really uses or sees the small pond because a partially completed path stops approximately 25 feet short of the pond in both directions.
Friends’ President Lizbeth González remarked on accomplishments both past and present. “Last year we made history providing Orchard Beach with two new beach wheelchairs and making it the only New York City beach that provides wheelchair access to the water,” Ms. González said. “This year we will build Pond Walk and create a viewing platform that is wheelchair accessible so all children can enjoy the pond and experience the freedom of a nature environment.”
New York City Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe praised the Friends on their fundraising initiatives. “As with much that The Friends do, we appreciate their particular efforts on making Pelham Bay Park accessible for all and for providing the funding for programming for children with special needs.”
Other speakers at the event included Bronx Parks Commissioner Hector Aponte, Park Administrator Marianne Anderson, State Senator Jeffrey Klein, and Bronx Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lenny Caro. All commended the Friends of Pelham Bay Park’s efforts to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the Park’s beautiful landscape and facilities.
Thanks are due to a wide range of Park supporters who have contributed to this new initiative. Special donations were received from Millie Pinott and Eric Salmeron of Betz Mitchell Associates; National Golf Corporation (the new operators of the Turtle Cove Golf Center); Bronx Kiwanis Club; and James McQuade of Schuyler Hill Funeral Homes. The Friends of Pelham Bay Park and the Parks & Recreation Department are grateful for this support as they strive to help all New Yorkers discover how Pelham Bay Park can enrich their lives.
If you would like to learn more about Pond Walk or get involved, see our website at pelhambaypark.org or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can be reached at 718-430-4685.