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Parks Department

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Vaunted $67M Flushing Pool to Finally Reopen for a Quick Dip — Then Close Again

The Olympic-sized Queens public aquatic center that’s been closed since before the pandemic due to a crumbling roof is set to reopen next early year with protective netting. But swimmers will be ordered out again once redesign plans for the ceiling are finished.

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Hart Island Burials Taken Over By Tree Landscapers, Uprooting Families’ Hopes for Transformation

The city’s potter’s field, the final resting place for thousands killed by COVID and AIDS, is now overseen by the Parks Department amid visions of creating the nation’s largest municipal cemetery. But a $33M contract to a firm without cemetery experience, under the watch of an ex-Rikers captain, is raising concerns.

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Trump Firm Wins Injunction to Stop Bronx Golf Course Cancellation

Manhattan judge freezes de Blasio move to transfer Ferry Point Park links to a new operator as of Nov. 15 while Trump Organization makes its case to hold on to the 18-hole course. Trump is demanding a $30 million payout if ejected.

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City Hall Rejected Top-Dollar Offer for Bronx Golf Course Over Trump Threats

Morningstar Golf promised the city millions more than the now-defunct team of CORE and Bobby Jones Links, documents show. But the city refused to protect Morningstar from any lawsuits filed by the ex-president, the firm says.

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Trump Vows to Stay Put After de Blasio’s Bronx Golf Course Eviction Deadline

Attorney for ex-president tells judge Trump’s firm has a right to keep running the Ferry Point Park golf course past Nov. 14 — even if it loses its suit against the city for canceling its contract following the Jan. 6 insurrection.

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What’s Killing Hawks, Owls, Ducks and Squirrels in New York City Parks?

Rat poison appears to be playing a role in the demise of creatures like Central Park’s beloved Barry the Owl, necropsy reports obtained THE CITY show. But causes of death aren’t always clear — including a duck that may have drowned in Queens.

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Bloomberg’s Olympic Swimming Pool Is Crumbling, Leaving Queens High and Dry

The $67 million Flushing Meadows Corona Aquatic Center closed for repairs after the roof started shedding concrete, just weeks before the pandemic erupted. Half of the Parks Department’s dozen indoor pools are shut for maintenance.

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De Blasio Slams Bronx Golf Deal He Cheered to Bump Trump, After Homeless Operator Exposé

THE CITY asked why a homeless shelter operator was set to take over Ferry Point Park links and other news outlets revealed self-dealing and sanctions. Now the mayor says he’s baffled why his Parks Department didn’t spot the red flags.

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Barry The Owl Was Poisoned Before Central Park Truck Hit Her

The beloved barred owl who died last month in Central Park, had a potentially lethal level of rat poison that could have impaired her flying abilities before her crash, according to a state necropsy obtained by THE CITY.

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How Beach Erosion Played Part in Teen’s Drowning at Rockaway

The strip of the shore where Matthew Wiszowaty was swimming had been blocked off because beach erosion makes it impossible to place a lifeguard chair there adequately. Still, some locals say the city should boost patrols at the popular spot.

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Red Hook Thrown into Parks Space Race as More Fields Close for Environmental Overhaul

Work has dragged on for nearly a decade in a Brooklyn neighborhood still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. The city Parks Department recently shuttered a local track, basketball courts, soccer fields and more for 18 months.

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Washington Square Park Neighbors Pleaded for Help, Records Show

In scores of reports to 311, locals complained about loud music, rowdy partying and fireworks at the iconic Greenwich Village park, the subject of a controversial curfew. "We’re desperate. Please help," one resident wrote.

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Making a Stink About Lack of Bathrooms at Brooklyn’s Betsy Head Park

The Parks Department says real bathrooms will be completed next year. But there are no signs pointing out to port-a-potties blocks away from playgrounds and fields. "Why would they do this to families in Brownsville?" one woman asked.

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NYC Park Lovers Say City Nature Trails Need More Green

Partnerships with the Parks Department have left the fate of New York’s hiking trails in the hands of private organizations. Some groups say more needs to be done — and funded — by the city. Meanwhile, a new city plan aims at making trails safer.

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COVID and Cabin Fever Inspire New Uses of NYC Outdoor Space This Summer

Brand new park space, a return to summertime classics and — of course — skirmishes about how to use streets and sidewalks will mark the 2021 hot weather season. Here’s what to look out for while you’re out and about.

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Restoration of Red Hook Rec Center Finally Moving Forward Following Sandy Damage

Nearly a decade after the superstorm, the Parks Department seeks architect to fortify historic sports hub. Meanwhile, surrounding ballfields remain fenced off for epic toxic soil cleanup.

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COVID Clusters Hit City Workplaces as Frontline Employees Wait for Vaccines

A Sanitation garage in Brooklyn and Flushing Meadows Corona Park locker room are among recent virus breakout sites. Union officials are calling for shots for thousands more municipal employees: "We can’t work from home."

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Central Park’s Iconic Boathouse Restaurant Shutters With 163 Permanent Layoffs

The lakeside eatery and its famous row boats have been shut since mid-March. About six months later, owner Dean Poll let go of the staff for good, according to a state labor department notice.

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Tree Pruning Budget Cuts Raise Fears of Falling Branches

Officials and advocates point to past tragedies in Central Park and beyond as they sound the alarm that New Yorkers could be left vulnerable by maintenance reductions.

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Budget Cuts Make Rangers an Endangered Species in City Parks

Corps of wildlife educators got chopped down by more than half, while beefed-up ticket-issuing enforcer squad thrives.