September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 72

Park Bench
Making History in New Rochelle
Located in southeastern New York, with nearly 80,000 residents,
the City of New Rochelle is approximately 20 miles north
of New York City. Founded by French Protestants - known as
Huguenots - who fled religious persecution in 1688, many of
the settlers were artisans and craftspeople from the City of La
Rochelle, France - thus the name " New Rochelle. "
In March 2020, history was made just down the street from
New Rochelle's City Hall. A local lawyer became the second confirmed
case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state. Schools were
immediately closed, all public gatherings were canceled and
neighborhood residents sheltered in place. The National Guard
was sent in for precautionary measures.
At that time, the idea of hosting any form of summer recreation
The " Outside the Box in Our
Parks " program was offered free
of charge and hosted at parks
and athletic fields citywide for
children of all ages.
for youth seemed like a pipedream. However, New Rochelle's
Parks and Recreation Commissioner William Zimmermann
looked at the challenge as an opportunity, rather than a roadblock.
" We learned throughout the pandemic that park usage was at
an all-time high and residents of all ages were craving our city's
parkland and open green spaces, " says Commissioner Zimmermann.
" That was the moment we knew we had to get creative
for Summer 2020. "
Zimmermann and his staff worked together to form " Outside
the Box in Our Parks. " Although camps and organized team sports
were not permitted statewide, small outdoor group recreation in
parks, under the proper supervision and COVID-19 protocols, were
permitted. The newly created program was offered free of charge
and hosted at parks and athletic fields citywide for children of all ages. Traditional summer day camp was replaced by small groups of 15
to 20 children participating in yoga, fitness classes, kayaking, gardening and other activities outdoors that promote healthy and safe fun.
As a respected professional from the field with 46 years of experience at multiple municipalities in New York State, along with past service
on the NRPA Board of Trustees, Commissioner Zimmermann thought he had seen it all. " Personally, I've managed through several
national disasters and, of course, being in the New York metropolitan area, we endured the tragedies of September 11 in an intimate way.
Yet, the COVID-19 pandemic experience has been the most unique, " he reflects. " You never knew what the next challenge or roadblock
would be. But I could not be prouder of the way our staff rose to the occasion and put so many smiles on children's faces across our city. "
New Rochelle is rich in history in many ways. In the heart of New Rochelle lies historic Lincoln Park, once the site of Lincoln
Elementary School. The area was the focus of a 1961 landmark decision that garnered nationwide attention in a desegregation case
that eventually made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision would lead to the first-ever court-ordered closing of a segregated
school in the North. When entering Lincoln Park, visitors immediately come upon the anniversary dedication plaque. The sign reads:
" On this site stood Lincoln School, the first segregated school in the North to be closed by a court order. This tablet honors all who participated
in this struggle for equality in education and commemorates the 25th anniversary of the landmark Taylor v. Board of Education
of New Rochelle decision of 1961, a milestone in the search for unity in the midst of our diversity. " It was only fitting that this historic
site would become the first location in the city for the " Outside the Box in Our Parks " recreation program.
" Summer 2020 will be remembered as a season of recreational challenges we will never forget, " adds Zimmermann. " But through
creativity, hard work and trust from our local leaders, parents and children, our department successfully filled a huge community
void. For this type of unprecedented recreation to also take place at one of the most historic locations in our area made it an even
more special summer of 2020. "
- Vincent Parise, Deputy Commissioner for City of New Rochelle Parks and Recreation
72 Parks & Recreation | SEP T EMBER 2 0 2 1
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTO COURTESY OF NEW ROCHELLE
PARKS AND RECREATION

September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of September 2021 - Parks & Recreation

September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6a
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6b
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
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September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
September 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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