Seward Park Conservancy Forms with the Goal of Ending the Neglect

Posted on: October 30th, 2014 at 6:04 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

It was the first permanent, municipally-built playground in the United States, yet Seward Park receives little love outside the history books. What began a project by the Outdoor Recreation League (Lillian Wald and Charles Stover) to get kids off the streets was eventually snatched up by the City of New York. Rarely is this past touted. Neglected, much like the parks itself, with a lack of overall care and maintenance by the city Parks Department.

Well, neighbors in the immediate vicinity recently organized with the intention of adddressing longstanding issues of neglect within Seward Park. The crusade started as a block association of sorts called Friends of Seward Park, but is now a legit conservancy focused on “keeping a bright, safe, beautiful, active public park and playground.” Seward Park Conservancy, as it’s now known, received its 501(c)(3) status earlier this month, which officially allows the group to collect charitable donations.

This image has been archived or removed.

Schiff Fountain doesn’t work

The platform issue of the nascent Conservancy is Schiff Fountain, which, in the words of organizers, has tremendous potential. It’s an icon of Seward Park, but in total disrepair; a constant reminder of its former reputation as a “Needle Park.” It’ll take lots of cash and support to return its former glory.

Other goals include eliminating the terrible rodent problem (there is only one exterminator for all parks in Manhattan), opening the Essex gates (closed for safety reasons), and increasing overall awareness of the park to nearby residents. Apparently even those in Seward Park have never entered the premises.

For the moment, the Seward Park Conservancy is in fundraising mode, soliciting donations for well-connected neighbors. It hopes to eventually gain the attention of other powerful conservancies throughout the city for more support.

Maybe it’ll gain enough traction to grab some of the $130 million that Mayor de Blasio earmarked to fix 35 long-neglected parks.

Recent Stories

Eighteen-Story ‘Moxy’ Hotel Woos its Bowery Neighbors

Moxy is meeting the neighbors, currently amidst the requisite charm offensive ahead of its new hotel debut on the Bowery. The superstructure at 151 Bowery – construction of which had been on pause during the initial phase of the pandemic – topped out last October and now sits at eighteen stories. Joining the sky-high company […]

Another Lower East Side Crab Shack Shutters

It’s a crisis of crab cakes on the Lower East Side. In an apparent coincidence, two dedicated crab shacks – both located within a few blocks of one another – closed just days apart this month. As previously reported, Crab Du Jour closed down its franchise at Grand and Suffolk Streets within the last couple […]

A Show of Strength and Mourning As NYPD Responds to Domestic Dispute Call on Elizabeth Street in Little Italy

A man armed with a knife threatened his family in an Elizabeth Street apartment, then barricaded himself, cops said. At approximately 12:30pm on Monday, sources said the assailant menaced his family inside 239 Elizabeth – allegedly with a knife – then barricaded inside another room. Officers from the 5th Precinct arrived in good time, and entered the […]

Sheldon Silver, Disgraced Assembly Speaker from LES, Dies at 77

Sheldon Silver, the disgraced powerhouse of the New York State Assembly, and native Lower East Sider, whose career was toppled by a 2015 corruption conviction, died yesterday. He was 77. According to the New York Times, Silver, who maintained a residence at Hillman Houses, had been imprisoned at Devens Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Massachusetts. […]

Cops: Robbers Entered Juice Press through Rivington Hotel Basement

Brazen robbers used the basement of the Hotel on Rivington to hit the Juice Press location next door, cops said. Police sources say that bandits entered the Hotel on Rivington shortly before 6:00am the morning of January 19. Gaining access to the basement, the perps then used the passageway to sneak into the adjacent Juice […]