Commissioner Mitchell Silver on a Working Walk-Through in Marcus Garvey Park



Connie Lee, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance/ Public Art Initiative, and Commissioner Mitchel Silver on a walk-through of Marcus Garvey Park

Mitchell J. Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, along with William T. Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner, NYC Parks Department, met with Connie Lee, President of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, several members of her Board, and Friends of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, for a tour of Marcus Garvey Park in East Harlem today.

Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Board Members Susan Huck and Josh Bell, in forefront, Connie Lee, Commissioner Silver and Manhattan Borough Commissioner, William Castro

Meeting early at Pelham Fritz Center, the tour began a working walk-through, stopping for notes on potential projects and improvements.  Above photo, at 120th Street and Fifth Avenue side of the park.

Marcus Garvey Park Alliance Board Members, Cynthia Reed and Susan Huck in the forefront. Connie Lee, Carla McIntosh, Commissioner Silver, and Toledo walking next to one of the three Little Free Library’s

Continuing on along the 124th Street side of the Park, near Madison Avenue, the group passed by the most recent art installation, Maren Hassinger: Monuments, a joint project with Studio Museum in Harlem’s inHarlem project and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.  Commissioner Silver views this as a time to not only review necessary improvements to this particular park, but also what the Commissioner feels is necessary time spent with the Alliance Board Members and the community, listening to problems and concerns in a Park they frequent everyday. It is what he calls ~ #parkequity.

William T. Castro, Manhattan Borough Commissioner standing with Board Members, Susan Huck and Josh Bell, along with Commissioner Silver

The walk-through included carefully checking walkways, paths, the basketball court, playgrounds, fencing, structures including pool, community center, ongoing project of a new restroom facility, and the amphitheater.  With occasional downpours, and umbrellas going up and down, the tour group grew as the morning progressed to include more Board Members and members of the community.

Touring Marcus Garvey Park in front of the pool

The walk-through passed by several Marcus Garvey Park Alliance projects like the three Little Free Library’s, strategically located along the 124th Street side of the Park, with books for younger children set in the Little Library located near Mt Morris Park West ~ the lawn where the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance holds their weekly Children’s Reading Circle, where local authors and artists donate their talents, entertaining children who sit on colorful blankets laid out under the trees every Wednesday from 10:30am to Noon during the summer months.

Checking out the basketball court along Madison Avenue between 120-121st Streets

Below, the group passed by the Madison Avenue side of the Park near 123rd Street, with a view of current art installation, Atlas of the Third Millennium by the artist Jorge Luis Rodriguez. “This installation will be replaced by a new artist on October 1”, said Connie Lee, who is also the President of Public Art Initiative, working closely with other parks in the area, and on the Board of Landmarks East Harlem, which had a recent success, landmarking three structures in East Harlem.

Overlooking the lawn housing current art installation, Atlas.

To the left of Atlas, is the Drummers Circle, where local drummers play their instruments every Saturday, weather permitting.

Connie Lee, President of Marcus Garvey Park Alliance & Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of Parks & Recreation

The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance also holds a Food Market each Saturday from 9:30am to 4:00pm on 124th Street and Mt Morris Park West.

Above and below, the Richard Rogers Amphitheater and stage, where the public enjoys the Classical Theater of Harlem, Jazzmobile,  Summer Stage Charlie Parker Jazz Festival and many many other events ~ Free and open to the public.

Checking the stage in the amphitheater, from L-R, Mitchell Silver, William Castro, Kim McNeal, Chief of Recreation, Manhattan, and Steve Simon, Chief of Staff Manhattan

For the third year in a row, the Alliance welcomed a Sing for Hope Piano, on the 124th Street side of the Park at Fifth Avenue ~ manned by a community of Piano Buddies, and enjoyed by all. This year, Sing for Hope surprised Marcus Garvey Park with a pop-up Piano Day including the Sing for Hope Mini!

Mitchell Silver, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation on a walk-through of Marcus Garvey Park with Connie Lee, President of Marcus Garvey Park, and Board Members Cynthia Reed, Photographer and Josh Bell, Secretary

One of the most notable and historic structures in Marcus Garvey Park is the Harlem Fire Watchtower, which was removed from the Acropolis in 2015 for a major restoration, and will be returned later this year.

Staying dry in front of the pool house ~ a group shot

As Parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver oversees management, planning and operations of nearly 30,000 acres of parkland, which includes parks, playgrounds, beaches, marinas, recreation centers, wilderness areas and other assets. We follow the Commissioner on Twitter ~ and he keeps us busy!

From L-R, Joe Troche (Treasurer, Marcus Garvey Park Alliance), Karen Smith, Susan Huck, Board Member, Valerie Bradley, V.P., Carla McIntosh, Past President; Commissioner Silver, Connie Lee, President; Josh Bell, Secretary; and Cynthia Reed, Photographer

You can follow Marcus Garvey Park Alliance on their Website or on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening in the Park.

Click Here to Support The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance

Love plants?  Become a Marcus Garvey Park Alliance volunteer.  Connect with them on their website.