Monday, April 22, 2013

Guy's Salad Bar

 and the tulip I crushed below weeding. I'd never had so many weeds in my community garden plot before or started the season so late. I usually mulch with straw over the winter. But I also have never seen so manylady bugs in my garden in early spring before while weeding, so maybe it's a fair tradeoff after all. Maybe it means my garden was meant to be just a litte bit more on the fallow side this year and that's ok.

(Guy's salad bar though I believe could rival Trader Joe's. I kid you not ever.  My neighbors rock the garden. Now is that a pretty cold frame you could line up with a plate at or what? It's April.)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Plant and What's Still Wild in the News

Bloodroot bloom at Floyd Bennett Field Garden wildlife habitat (not wild, but transplanted)

It's nice to know that when the National Park Service isn't making dubious deals to lease out their land and historic structures to natural gas companies, they spend some time focused on what actually is their business, celebrating some of what is still wild even here in New York City. (Last year's picture, late March.) Because plants are of the wild too, though they do not roar.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Metering Regulating Station Floyd Bennett Field: Today's Quote

                  Protect Your Parks Postcard Letterwriting campaign run by Joe against HR2606
"No action that is the subject of an ongoing NEPA analysis or that would

limit the choice of alternatives undergoing NEPA scrutiny should be taken

until the NEPA process is complete (1506.1). This includes design work,

funding pieces of a project, choosing building contractors, and so forth."

Today's quote brought to you by Director's Order 12 Handbook
That is an interesting quote to consider in regards to the proposal to place an acre natural gas facility in historic hangars in Floyd Bennett Field. Because in that case, historic hangars in Floyd Bennett Field went from not being even on an alternative list to the preferred choice for the facility, testified in support of on HR2606 by the National Park Service in Congress before all public notice, commenting and before even public scoping for environmental review that came as part of the FERC process on the project.
So let's see now if the National Park Service's decision to place this facility in those hangars which seems to have come in September 2010 requiring no public input or environmental review effects the NEPA process and placement of that facility in the Rockaway Lateral Project or not. We are still waiting on a draft EIS on that as part of the FERC process for the natural gas pipeline project through Gateway National Recreation Area, but the National Park Service didn't require one for their testimony on that bill. Neither did Congress.

Metering and Regulating Station site and alternatives circa 2009 about 3 years before the first public meetings were held on the project in April 2012. HR2606 passed in the House in February of 2012 and was testified in support of by the National Park Service in March of 2012. But who am I to say that maybe those public meetings came just a wee late in the process, whether the FERC process or the one that brings us laws?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What to Focus on this Year?

I wouldn't say that every year since I started gardening that I have had just one true focus for the year. Probably exactly the opposite has been true. The moments outside always feels like a mad dash to try and take everything in all at once. To follow a favorite throughout the seasons, learn the name of the blooming thing in front of me in the moment by name, whether common or botanic or spot a new a pollinator in the garden, whether bee, wasp or other. What is true I think is that the focus has always been on something outside of myself, something tangible, real and alive that I hadn't spent enough time getting to know or pay attention to closely before beginning to garden.

I miss this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pipeline Projects, Public Parks, PR and Politics

Above ground pipeline infrastructure in an industrial park

A press release here from the Department of Interior: which highlights "historic progress" over at Gateway National Recreation Area but fails to highlight the "historic progress" coming for historic hangars in Floyd Bennett Field in the form of an acre natural gas facility. And over in the NYtimes the news instead is about an oyster farm caught up in "pipeline politics"?

Press releases and the politics of pipelines, public parks: an interesting topic. Seems it was only a few years ago when Ken Salazar and the DOI were promoting the park, Floyd Bennett Field included no less while a bill to improve the park with an acre natural gas facility in historic hangars was quietly introduced into Congress. Makes me think that maybe there really is something to that expression, no news is good news. Who would have thought that in 2011 while the PR and public statements were all about camping and park improvements, what was a number one priority for politicians in the "pipeline" was literally a pipeline project? Not me that's for sure. When the powers that be promote a pipeline project and infrastructure as in improvement of your favorite park perhaps there's a chance you'll see what I mean. Personally I find it fascinating that all this comes as the park, Gatway National Recreation Area celebrates its 40th year as a concept and the National Park Service gets ready to celebrate a new century of protecting parks as it nears its own Centennial celebration. History indeed.

Protect Your Parks Postcards and this Post brought to you in part by the letter P for press releases, as in this one from New York City, which mentions the generosity of National Grid donating money to the new Jamaica Bay Parks planning process, but doesn't mention that National Grid along with Williams Transco will also conveniently gets to operate in the park, that is if one considers Floyd Bennett Field a part of that park at all.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Afternoon at the Casey's with Anne

A decidely rosey affair. The hellebores reportedly began their show in the snow with some in full bloom, others post and still others about to bloom. On the way I passed blooming daffodils but in the Casey's yard the bulbs planted late fall with Anne last year still have some time left to grow. The good fun to be had though was pushing past the mulch to see what appears to be the variegated Solomon's Seal just emerging up out of the ground.  

Monday, April 1, 2013

Gateway National Grid Recreation Area in the news


The Marine Parkway Bridge-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge, as seen from above with Floyd Bennett Field on the horizon.
 Photo: Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin (click on picture or here for MTA flickr page)
I haven't seen a bill yet to actually rename the park Gateway National Grid Recreation Area, but now that work is beginning on National Grid's accompanying Brooklyn Queen's Interconnect Project, maybe it's something that ought to be considered. I'm sure there's some local politicians with a penchant for renaming things for some reason or other or just willing to waste some time in order to get the all important work of renaming stuff done. The marriage of the National Park Service's logo with National Grid's (whatever that might, corporate logos aren't a particular fascination of mine) might not look so bad on a sign. Truth in advertising right? And people get upset about naming stadiums after corporations?
It's fools day. Celebrate.