Holy Angels Convent
3500 St. Claude Avenue (@ Congress)
New Orleans, LA 70117
- Markey Park renovation plans and maintenance- identification of maintenance company
- Update on Riverfront Park and Stallings
- Discussion of recreational activities in Bywater
The following phrases have been exchanged among locals over the past few days:
Occupy Markey Park!!! Power to the people!
*picture dog* slogan 'WE can't be GENTRIFIED'
Parks got bailed out - dogs got sold out
Please see our previous post Is there no home for gentrified dogs? NORD Markey Park Redevelopment Plan Is Not What Democracy Looks Like #ONOLA for back story!
On Monday, February 25, Markey Park experienced what seemed like a show of force from NORD when City Park and Rec workers arrived with a number of tractors. A worker interviewed said it didn't make sense that NORD sent so many people, in the rain, just to cut the grass. A city employee that was interviewed said it was un scheduled and that they received a call this morning to go out in the rain.
VIDEO of city workers with tractors Monday (it was livestreamed) http://bambuser.com/v/3400659?v=
The Bywater Neighborhood Association does not seem to be representing Bywater residents.
Apparently, John Guarnieri, 2011 Chair of the Bywater Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, wrote to the Trust for Public Land requesting that they not support dogs in Micky Markey Park. This was sent about 2 weeks after original meeting on park with TPL on 10/26/11. This info was published on the official BNA correspondence section of the BNA website but was never published in the BNA newsletter. Link to pdf: http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Schmidt_ltr_111111.pdf .
In the fall of 2010, Bywater residents from primarily the south side of St. Claude completed a survey about Parks and Recreation (201 surveys were completed through door to door interviews and another 92 were completed online.)
Even though 50% of the survey respondents said they used Markey Park to play with their dogs, BNA "urged [the TPL] to prepare a design alternative that does not have space dedicated to off-leash dogs" because "Markey Park is for people and that it should be returned to its lawful and intended use."
"Soon after Hurricane Katrina, Bywater residents launched community meetings with the goal of revitalizing the neighborhood and renovating Mickey Markey Park was a top priority. This two acre park has been fenced off from the neighborhood because of lead contamination since early 2011...The Trust for Public Land is working in partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Department Commission and the Bywater Neighborhood Association to develop a community-driven design for Markey Park. Park improvements may include new landscaping, dog park area, lighting, and other amenities. The park may also include a Fitness Zone, outdoor exercise equipment for adults that The Trust for Public Land has already successfully introduced in Los Angeles."
Legally that fact that some entrances are accessible to handicapped people does not change the fact that the plans for River Front Park do not comply with Federal ADA guidelines.
People with service dogs will be especially affected, and one can't just say to them, oh, well use a different entrance.
Quotes from Advocates for Keeping Mickey Markey ParkPark Dog Friendly!
"BNA is, at best, a special-interest group that does not represent the will of the neighborhood, and, at worst, is a fraudulent organization getting kickbacks from private contracts, how do we proceed in taking back our park from these people?"
"How can a 'neighborhood association' be at odds with the neighbors?
Isn't that who they are supposed to represent, or is it just more self appointed government?"
"BNA has never had the interest of the bywater residents in mind."
"From my understanding, most of the neighborhood wanted a mixed use dog park and people park, with a dedicated off leash area. There is plenty of room, why didn't the BNA press this issue? It seems the city and the Trust for Public Land totally ignored the wishes of the community. This reeks of gentrification and developer influence."
"I don't know much about the history of the situation, but I'd be reluctant about blaming the Trust for Public Land. Yes, they are providing a lot of the money, and yes, the park design that that's currently planned appears to have been made by them or under their auspices. But I'm pretty sure at some point they did produce plans for a tri-partite park, didn't they? Their website page for the Markey Park project still includes discussion of a dog park among other amenities, and seems to envision a much more intensively used park than the current plan allows for. It seems to me the real responsibility here lies with NORD--they have the final say-so, and this is what they're planning. They had to put up the matching funds for it or it wouldn't have gotten done, they have to contract for it and oversee, etc. They're the ones who have it all on a schedule to close the park before any other facilities for kids or people with dogs are available in the neighborhood."
"The current poor condition of the entire park, including drainage, poor fencing, etc due to the city's lack of upkeep, doesn't have anything to do with the ability of the park to support a large dedicated people area, playground and small off leash dog area. The current off leash dog are is too large for regular dog users to maintain. Still, with any heavily used common ground the city has abandoned to its residents to maintain...only a small number of people step up to help. And people do maintain it as best they can, repairing fencing, etc. In my opinion, a much smaller off leash area with appropriate trash bins, etc would be easier for regular dog users and the city to maintain."
"the BNA board took and official position against dogs in the park around a year ago. It's in one of their newsletters. In the board minutes. Only input they cite on their decision is from John Messinger, a board member who had resigned and was trying to start his own neighborhood assoc. Not aware of any time the BNA advocated on behalf of the popular dog park in the renovation plans."
"I didn't realize that BNA was receiving over $200,000 from the city for Markey Park either (http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Markey_Park_Funds_Palmer_100924.pdf"
"Has anyone found out who came up with the "one dogpark per district rule" I keep hearing about?
- NORD, TPL, or the Mayor's office?"
"BNA's aim of "total residential redevelopment" going strong."
"BNA did that AGAINST their own membership survey results ( results of which they published in their own newsletter). The BNA board in effect straight faced lied. There should be some legal recourse for their intentional misrepresentation on this an other issues (zoning anyone?). It is unfortunate that so many of us who care so passionately don't have the time due to having to work too support our homes and families..."
"After having directed the TPL to submit a design with no offleash area for dogs, NORDC, at its June 5th meeting, approved the TPL’s plan for Markey Park. There was no discussion of a dog area, and no one came forward to offer public comment." .. Oh HELL NO! I came forward at that meeting, 7 months pregnant, and loudly asked what the hell they thought they were doing and VIc Richards, Larry Schmidt and the guy from BNA all tried to silence me. My blood pressure got so high I realized it was dangerous for my health. I was there with at least 10 other people who were voicing opposition.
"it sounds exactly like UTNA, Uptown Triangle Neighborhood Association, in the Black Pearl where I live. These NA's are stacked with real estate 'professionals' whose ONLY concern is THEIR OWN property values. The hell with everyone else, including long time residents. They do not represent their neighborhoods nor do they care. Their houses are 'investments', not 'homes'."
"BNA to receive $200,000 for park. From BNA online archive and unearthed by Jon Bodarky. http://www.thebywater.org/dbpdfs/Markey_Park_Funds_Palmer_100924.pdf "
"They are a 501c3, a private non-profit. They more or less are a private entity. A lot of neighbors have increasingly felt they are not represented by the group, but city government tends to recognize BNA as a formal mouthpiece of the neighborhood."