Bronx Park Leaders Honored at Partnerships for Parks Ceremony

This past Tuesday, Partnerships for Parks held a certificate ceremony for their Academy Fellowship Mentoring Program. The program connects different individuals interested in starting park-related projects and groups with those who are more experienced in this field.

“I love being able to focus more on the incredible stories of the people who are working hard to make our parks better. You are what make our parks great.” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver before handing out certificates.

Multiple New York City groups were present from all boroughs and the Bronx was surely represented that night. Nilka Martell of G.I.V.E. (Getting Involved, Virginia Ave Efforts) was a mentor to Dawn Cherry of The Friends of Saw Mill Park. Together they developed a relationship with Parks Manager, Chris Acosta, and brought in over 200 volunteer’s ready to help out at Cherry’s first “It’s My Park Day.”


Founder of G.I.V.E. Nilka Martell with Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver

Brandy Cochrane of The Friends of the Woods played mentor to Laura Alvarez and Jamie O’ Feliberty. Cochrane helped The Friends of Soundview Park to plan and hold their first elections which will give them a solid foundation so that they may grow as an organization in the future.


Members of The Friends of the Woods and The Friends of Soundview Park with Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver

Mentor Jennifer was looking to bring more support to Barretto Point Park with Lucia Hernandez of the Hunts Point American Indian Council. They both brought in 21 volunteer’s during their first “It’s My Park Day.”


Lucia Hernandez of Hunts Point American Indian Council with Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver

In a collaboration between the Bronx and Manhattan, Lizz von Uhl of Friends of Williambridge Oval Park and Marise Hausner of The Green Park Gardeners worked together to create a Linkedin group for community gardeners throughout NYC.

Mentors guided their ‘pupils’ through many aspects of starting their own park-related groups, between planning fundraisers, recruiting volunteers, starting websites, getting permits, using social media, and applying for 501 (c)(3) status.

Other groups represented at the ceremony included:

Christopher Park Partnership, Volunteers for Springfield Park, Casa Frela, New York City Mountain Biking Association, Brooklyn Marine Park Alliance, Green Earth Urban Gardeners, 27th Street Community Builders, Friends of Travers Park, Fort Greene Park Conservancy, Friends of Guillen Park, Friends of Haven Park, West 45th and 46th Street Block Association, Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association, Green Shores NYC, Friends of Stryker Park, Woodside Neighborhood Association, Allied Rockaway Foundation, Friends of Astoria Heights Park, and Friends of Cunningham Park.

The Bronx Chronicle would like to congratulate our very own Nilka Martell and all those honored that night for their hard work and dedication.