Solar One- Stuyvesant Cove Park by Anuja Joshi

Stuyvesant Cove Park is a 1.9 acre open space that runs along New York’s East River between 19th and 23rd streets, that prides itself in it’s sustainable management. Aside from providing an open green space for New Yorkers to jog, walk, or stroll with pets, Stuyvesant Cove Park actively reaches out to the New York City community to promote and implement environmentally friendly practices. In discussion with Daisy Hoyt (Solar One manager and a woman so appropriately named after nature) it becomes evident that Stuyvesant Cove Park is a place that boasts much more than a pretty area for people to pass through.

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“How long have you been working on Solar One and this initiative in general?”

“Five years”

“How did you get interested in this area?”

“I have always been interested in horticulture, I grew up in a rural area and my first job was at a green house.”

“What are your daily tasks?”

“My daily tasks are I order supplies, I arrange community events, I deal with various community folks and I go to community board meetings. I oversee a seasonal gardener and a maintenance person.”

“How did Hurricane Sandy affect the park?”

“SO we got lots of flooding here, and also deposited an incredible amount of debris in the park, we filled up at least three dumpsters worth of stuff…also soaked the park in salt water, which is not really good for plants.”

“What about the animals”

“Well, I think, the birds weren’t necessarily affected by the storm”

“What plants are you worried about?”

“I have a couple species of manarda that are not very salt tolerant. We did lose some tress, we lost all our eastern red cedars, they are evergreen trees and they just got really pushed around by the storm surge.”

“Can you describe some of the irrigation methods maybe?”

“Well we don’t have an irrigation system in the park we just have four points where we can access water.”

“How is the park an icon of Earth day?”

“It’s a good example of how parks can be managed sustainably and provide wildlife habitat and be beautiful and all that good stuff.”

“What is one of your biggest challenges with the park?”

“One of the biggest challenges with being in an urban place is foot traffic, people don’t really understand that walking through the beds or letting their dogs walk through the beds is damaging. Lastly the highway is right there and there is air pollution.”

“Is there anything you’ll like to see more of happen in the park?”

“It would be nice to have some public art in the park, I am looking into that with a partner of mine.”

“What kind of people go through the park on a daily basis?”

“All kinds, lots and lots of joggers and bikers, lots and lots of walkers.”

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