Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Souvenir (from Gateway National Industrial Area)

                         40 Fabulous Years, Wild About Gateway Industrial Park shopping bag

You gotta love Joe. He stopped in at the Ryan Center at Floyd Bennett Field on his trip to the community garden and got himself a shopping bag, a souvenir of sorts. Truth in advertising, right?

I think he's going back to get a tee-shirt too. Get them while they're hot.

My Gateway National Recreation Area Gas Pipeline Project posts here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Do You See What I See? (Say No to HR 2606, take three)

Grass, Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreational Area

How about a photo from someone other than me? Here's one from the MTA's Bridges and Tunnels Flickr page of the Marine Parkway Bridge/ Gil Hodges Memorial (and Floyd Bennett Field across the water)


The Marine Parkway Bridge-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, as seen from above.
 Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin (click on picture or here for MTA flickr page)

I should not have to tell anyone that we need to defend Floyd Bennett Field and Gateway National Recreation Area from the construction of a new industrial facility. This part of New York City is already supposed to be protected by the National Park Service. That protected status is now in jeapardy due to HR 2606 and both the new gas pipeline and the metering and regulating station proposed for construction and operation at Floyd Bennett Field.

You can look at Floyd Bennett Field and only see a place that needs to be developed. You can see only dilapidated buildings, left over from a history of aviation or naval activity. Or you can look at Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area from above and see it as a great big chunk of green space in a dense city. You can see it as a link in a Wildlife/Recreational/Open Space/Corridor that connects Jamiaca Bay Wildlife Refuge to Breezy Point or Sheepshead Bay. You can choose to see this place for what it already is, something unique and irreplaceable.

If a Metering and Regulating Station, industrial infrastructure, can be built here in this supposedly protected park, then one could argue that a similar industrial facility could be built in any park in New York City or on any NPS land. Maybe next time it will be Central Park or Prospect Park.

Here's a revisit of Williams own language in their 2009 Draft when considering their original metering and regulating station choice and alternatives for this pipeline project:

"The five remaining meter and regulating station alternatives are on properties owned by either the NPS or the NYCPR. The construction of a meter and regulating station on any of theses sites would change the use of the property from recreational to industrial land use and be outside the stated purposes for NPS and NYCPR properties. Also, Meter and Regulating Station Alternatives 3, 4, and 5 are all on property within an active golf course (Marine Park Golf Course) and the development of a meter and regulating station on these sites could result in negative impacts to golfers during both construction and operation of the facility."

Interesting. Metering and Regulating station construction and operation apparently can negatively impact golfers, but we are supposed to believe that when it comes to Gateway and Floyd Bennett Field, it's a plus? Our park already has a purpose and that purpose is not industrial.

FERC's public scoping period for their draft environmental impact statement on the Gateway pipeline just ended. You  might have missed the notice about it if you just read the newspaper. How many projects do you think FERC says no to? No matter what FERC approves or does not approve, this project can only be built if special legislation is passed authorizing it. That legislation is HR 2606 and it currently sits with the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources committee.

Some contacts:

Senator Charles Schumer:
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington D.C. 20510
Phone: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027

Senator Gillibrand
DC Address: The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand
United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3203
DC Phone: 202-224-4451
DC Fax: 202-228-0282

Linda Canzanelli, Gateway National Recreation Area Superintendent :
Gateway National Recreation Area
210 New York AvenueStaten Island, New York 10305

Public Affairs Office (Headquarters)
(718) 354 – 4606


Monday, June 25, 2012

From a Walk in My Dad's Garden (not entirely and for Jane)

The Hosta leaves, their glorious buds, and daylily after the flowers from a walk in my dad's garden, armed with clippers and the permission to cut away. The ammi from the farmer's market in a mad dash by Susan as flowers harvested in a heat wave began to give way. The bouquet from two sides.

This post is part of chain begun by Jane over at Small But Charming. The theme is flowers in houses and from gardens. As Jane so aptly put it, it all starts with a walk in the garden. I could forever be going for walks in gardens. The last bouquet pictured here came from at least four different ones, some steps taken by me and some by Susan.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

One From Today

Thankfully my father was willing to donate some hosta buds, so beautiful in that about to open stage, and Susan's friend could part with a few roses. It takes a village it seems to grow one small bouquet. And there were many today.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

For Everything, A Season

 Summer came riding in on a gnarly heat wave this year as the flowers began to give way to the berries.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Among the Weeds and Wild Things

You would think that with all the hours spent at work weeding, I might not be so keen on wandering among the weeds and wild things in my free time, but you'd be wrong.

There's a patch at Floyd Bennett Field that I like to explore on my way into the community garden.  I call it the cement prairie because there are a lot of grasses and wildflowers growing there among  pavement, and this weekend it was awash in these delicate airy pink blooms. They turned out to be Dianthus armeria, a wildflower from overseas, a weed or naturalized plant here, like the wild alliums pictured at the top of the page doing that flowering/bulbil/topsetting/ propogating thing that they do.  
I didn't know Dianthus armeria's name until this weekend. This old airfield isn't just the site of my community garden. It's also my classroom and it is here that I have begun to know the names of local pollinators and the pioneering plants that are reclaiming and regenerating this place. But I could sing a new song about the value of Floyd Bennett Field and Gateway any given day of the week, so how about some words about the area from people other than me for a change?
“Over the last two years, we have reopened the crown of the Statue of Liberty, jump-started the landmark restoration of Ellis Island, and begun to bring the refuges and wetlands of the Harbor back to health,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “With President Obama’s Great Outdoors Initiative, now is the time to build on the progress we’ve made and pursue a bold vision for the outdoor spaces and national parks in New York City, so that the city’s green spaces, waterways, and cultural landmarks are healthy, connected, and accessible to every child in school, every resident, and every visitor from around the globe.”
“Here in New York, we feel such a strong sense of pride for our parks, I want to thank Secretary Salazar and the rest of the Obama administration for their ongoing support of the city’s parks and other national jewels within the five boroughs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “As part of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, we look forward to working with the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service to enhance the largely undiscovered beauty of the Gateway National Recreation Area.”
-Ken Salazar and Mayor Bloomberg in a press release about America's Great Outdoors Initiative just last year.

Bloomberg is right about one thing I think. Here in New York, we do care about our parks and we know that industrial facilities do not belong in them. This gas metering and regulating station does not belong in Gateway National Recreation Area.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's Blooming Now at Floyd Bennett: Opuntia humifusa, Eastern Prickly Pear

Opuntia humifusa (Eastern Prickly Pear) in bloom, Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreation Area

Exploitably vulnerable in New York state, according to this source, which sounds a lot like the current status of the old airfield where I found it while exploring yesterday evening.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Some Rockaway Pipeline Coverage this Week

Image from Williams Draft Report for Rockaway Pipeline Project 2009 (filed with FERC) depicting preferred metering and regulation station sites and alternatives as well as pipepine path and alternatives

With FERC's two public scoping meetings this week and the gathering of public comments and issues to study as they get ready to prepare their draft environmental impact statement on the proposed Rockaway gas pipeline project came some news covering the local enivornmental concerns about the plan. The Daily News and Gothamist ran pieces. (you can follow the links to both articles) While I am happy to see some press coverage on the project and the local environmental concerns about it, neither article mentions that this proposed pipeline project requires an act of congress to authorize it (in addition to FERC approval) because it passes through land protected by the National Park Service. I happen to think that this information is pretty important for the public to hear because the public not only has the opportunity to comment and participate now during the FERC process for approving this pipeline but also has the opportunity to give voice on the legislation that if passed will authorize this industrial use of NPS land. The legislation is H.R. 2606, "New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act" and that information ought to accompany any press coverage of this project.  The public deserves every opportunity to decide how our National Park land is used and whether or not we feel that industrial facilities ought to be allowed in parks and land that is supposed to be protected. I'm of the opinion that industrial facilities do not belong in National Park land.

My pipeline posts here

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On The Sketch Hunter

"He moves through life as he finds it, not passing negligently the things he loves, but stopping to know them, and to note them down in the shorthand of his sketchbook, a box of oils with a few small panels, the fit of his pocket or on his drawing pad. Like any hunter he hits or misses. He is looking for what he loves, he tries to capture it. It's found anywhere, everywhere. Those who are not hunters do not see these things. The hunter is learning to see and to understand--to enjoy."

Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

Joe likes to say I draw at about a fifth grade level. This is probably a correct assessment. I cannot sketch, but I think I understand what Henri means about hunting and wanting to capture something that has already captured you.

Pervious or Impervious? (Are you)

I don't know if the pavement is permeable (almost anywhere else I'd wager no), but I do know the green roof is, and every time lately I'm in the Bronx and at this site, it seems it pours. (I knew that impervious was a word, but I didn't know that pervious was. Huh.)

Monday, June 11, 2012

On The Green Roof at Brooklyn Botanic

Oh man. I've been waiting to get on this one ever since my interview with New York Green Roofs. Today was finally the day. What can I say? If I hadn't heard the stories about the unforgiving weather, the incredible number of plants and the months of hard work throughout the install of this green roof on BBG's new visitor center, I might have thought the amazing grassy landscape before me just arose through pure magic.

They say every job has its perks. But how many do you think give you the opportunity to fall fast and hard for a grass and to revel in the blooms of June?

Today we climbed a ladder to the roof so we could weed out some tough plants and plant some others, and I got to admire the results of last fall's labor.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Because This Isn't a Wasteland (Say No to H.R.2606, take two)

                            Milkweed, Floyd Bennett Field, Gateway National Recreation Area

It's an invitation to the Monarchs in a city made of concrete and steel.

It's habitat.

It's a National Park, not an industrial park.

Floyd Bennett Field and Gateway National Recreation Area are worth fighting for. Say no to H.R. 2606. This is who you need to contact.

Gateway Gas pipeline and metering station posts here

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where The Bees Are

Hanging around. This afternoon, there was a little party on the corner of Bank and Hudson. Guess maybe they're foodies too (come on they're New York City bees, they know what the trends are) and they heard there was a pop-up food scene in the form of some blooming Lindens and a Goldenrain tree.The honeybee probably got the word through a dance, but I don't know how the Megachile knew. (at least that's what I think the native bee below is.)  Maybe it followed that sweet scent or maybe it just went out like I did for lunch and wandered a bit in search of a bite to eat.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Think Small

                                                  Sedum alba blooms on a greenroof in Union Square

It's a big city. This is a tiny piece of it.

Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Say No to the Natural Gas Industry Getting a Chunk of Gateway National Recreation Area

If you're not a senator's son or similarly dialed in, you're probably going to have to write a letter. You can do it old school like Joe (two-finger type it out on a typewriter, not a keyboard, and lick the stamps for each individual letter and its envelope) or you can do it new school here. The link is to the online contact form for the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, where H.R. 2606, the bill that will not only authorize a gas pipeline right of way through Gateway National Recreation Area, but the construction and operation of a metering and regulating station at Floyd Bennett Field, currently sits.

You don't have to be a poet. You can just write what you feel or if you can't think of anything or chronically suffer from writer's block you could quote Williams Transco from paperwork in 2009 describing why certain alternative sites for metering and regulating site were problematic for the project:
"The construction of a meter and regulating station on any of theses sites would change the use of the property from recreational to industrial land use and be outside the stated purposes for NPS and NYCPR properties."

The stated purpose of the NPS Gateway National Recreation Area which includes Floyd Bennett Field is "to preserve and protect for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations an area possessing outstanding natural and recreational features". Land use has always mattered and it always will matter. A new industrial use of Floyd Bennett Field, which will produce new emissions and greenhouse gases in a park that's supposed to be committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, housed (or conveniently hidden) in restored historic hangars is still an industrial facility after all, (it's just wearing a fancy dress) and it has nothing at all to do with aviation history, nature or recreational use.

Gateway's not Yosemite, but it's New York City's National Park. Fight for it like a New Yorker. Jacob Riis is the people's beach. (google it, I'm not making it up.) Jamaica Bay and Breezy Point are Significant Habitat areas for no short list of species. You don't have to be a senator's son. You just have to be New York loud. Write a letter. Use your voice.

Otherwise, you can just wait for FERC to approve the pipeline and the metering and regulating station, despite all the reasons you can think of that they should not. Say no to the Natural Gas Industry getting a chunk of Gateway National Recreation Area. Say no to H.R. 2606.

My Rockaway pipeline posts: here

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mays Past

Celebrating a bit of May 2010...


and the May that just ended with just a little bit of what was blooming in Brooklyn. They are all gone now with the whole of the calendar year stretching out before us until their return. For me at least a bouquet is just a reminder to catch it while I can. Because already again, just like that it's June and nothing lives forever.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Tenses

                                                                                         The Past

                                                                                   The Future

                                                                        and here in the moment

In gardening, it seems time is not linear and you can experience it all in a day. This was a little bit of one of my days at work weeding this week.