Come to the Walking Tour! * Washington Sq Park: Past, Present and Future – A Guide to NYC’s Redesign of a Perfect Public Space * Sunday, July 27th

Washington Sq Park Under Construction

Washington Sq Park Under Construction

* Time Out NY: “Recommended”

Come to the Walking Tour! The very first walking tour last month was a lot of fun (amidst the concerns about the proposed changes to the Park) and had such a nice group of people. There’s still time to come to the second!

WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: A Guide to New York City’s Redesign of a Perfect Public Space

Sunday, July 27th, 12 noon

Meet Up at Washington Square Arch, Washington Square North @ Fifth Avenue ; $5 donation (Raindate Sunday, August 3rd, 12 noon)

Time Out NY 7/24/08 wrote: In the 1950s, Jane Jacobs helped keep cars out of Washington Square. But a new redesign – which will entail dismantling the fountain, removing the chess tables and cutting down decades-old trees – puts the beloved green space in jeopardy all over again.”

Trains: A,B,C,D,E,F to West 4th Street/Washington Square

Presented by Washington Square Park Blog and Washington Square Community Improvement District(CID)

Expert Doctor on Children’s Health Raises Alarm on Synthetic Turf – What will it take to reach Parks Commissioner Benepe?

Dr. Philip Landrigan is a respected pediatrician and expert on children’s health at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in NYC. He has written a letter urging a moratorium and raising alarming concerns on artificial turf to the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.

No word on whether this same letter has been sent to the NYC Department of Health or NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe (who seems to have a difficult time reversing course no matter how stunning the evidence). NYC, under Commissioner Benepe’s direction, has installed 94 artificial turf fields thus far in parks and ball fields. Despite concerns, plans move forward to install 68 additional turf fields across New York City.

Dr. Landrigan writes:

Synthetic turf fields have proliferated in recent years, and there are now more than several hundred of these installations in Connecticut and in other states up and down the East Coast. Almost no assessment of the potential hazards to children’s health of synthetic turf fields was undertaken before these fields were constructed. The stated need for their installation was a desire to improve the quality and enhance the drainage of playing fields coupled with a strong impetus to get more kids out and exercising as a way to combat the obesity epidemic.

These are laudable goals. The problem is that they were pursued without any consideration of alternatives or analysis of potential negative consequences. There was insufficient due diligence. The result now is that we are in a situation in which a number of these very expensive fields have been installed, and we are suddenly and belatedly beginning to realize that they may lead to health problems.

His recommendation is as follows:

1. A moratorium on installation of new synthetic turf fields until a careful, competent, independent study of their potential hazards has been conducted and reported to the public;

2. Immediate study of the suspected chemical hazards of synthetic turf fields.

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Dr. Landrigan’s Full Letter Outlining His Concerns Follows: (more…)