Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District Breakfast

Columbus Avenue BID breakfast
Board members (l-r: Heather Russo, Michael Broomfield and Peter Wright) at the Columbus Avenue BID’s annual breakfast meeting.

Friends of Roosevelt Park board members Heather Russo, Michael Broomfield and Peter Wright joined the community in supporting the Columbus Avenue Business Improvement District at its annual breakfast meeting. The Columbus Avenue BID is a nonprofit organization that offers programs and services for the blocks adjacent to Columbus Avenue between 67th and 82nd Streets.

Parks Without Borders on the 77th Street Lawn

Visitors sit on the lawn in Roosevelt Park at 77th St
Parks Without Borders on the 77th Street lawn – so far so good!

Park visitors can now enter two of Roosevelt Park’s previously closed lawns: one on the southwest side (77th Street and Columbus Avenue), and the other on the northwest side (81st and Columbus). The lawns are open to passive recreation only, so you won’t be able to play sports in these areas, but you can sit right on the grass! Dogs are also not allowed on these lawns, but they are welcome in the Bull Moose Dog Run.

The Parks Without Borders sections are currently open in good weather only, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., from June through September.

Take a seat on the lawn!

Hosta in late spring

Hosta Blooming at the Bull Moose Dog Run

Hosta in Roosevelt Park

Hosta is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It’s a shade-loving, rhizomatous, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial, with lush, sensuous foliage. Hosta varies in size from dwarfs, which are inches tall, to giants of five feet. Leaves come in a variety of colors, shapes and textures: blue-green, dark green, chartreuse, bronze, red, variegated, crinkled, smooth, wavy, concave, oval, round, heart-shaped, elongated, narrow, and twisted.

New York City is ideal for Hosta plants

With a relatively cool climate, and sun that isn’t too strong, New York City is a great place for Hosta plants. In Roosevelt Park, sweeps of magnificent hosta grow luxuriantly in front of the Bull Moose dog run.

The origins of Roosevelt Park’s Hosta plants

We planted Hosta in the park in 2014, and they are now mature, rich in color and large.  Hosta bloom in late spring, so June is a great time to visit the park and see them.

Earth Day

Earth Day

Roosevelt Park Trees and Flowers

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Conceived by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was intended to increase awareness of threats to the environment.

Roosevelt Park NYC bare dirtTwenty years after the first Earth Day, The Friends of Roosevelt Park were a newly formed group, dedicated to the restoration of Roosevelt Park. The park had been neglected, resulting in stretches of bare dirt broken interspersed with dead plants. It was a stressed environment.

Today, Earth Day has become an international observance, and Roosevelt Park has been restored to a welcoming slice of nature in the city. Its 10 acres are filled with trees, grass, and flowers. This Earth Day, come sit on one of our benches and celebrate how far the park has come!

Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug

Nobel monument in Roosevelt ParkNorman E. Borlaug was born on March 25th, 1914, in Cresco, Iowa, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. His name appears on the Nobel monument in Roosevelt Park, which lists all of the American recipients of the Nobel Prize. The monument is located near the park’s Columbus Avenue entrance.

The Green Revolution

Norman Borlaug was referred to as “The Father of the Green Revolution.” Borlaug was a geneticist and plant pathologist who found a high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat. He then arranged to put the new cereal strains he had found into production to feed the world’s hungry people, thereby reducing some of the environmental and social problems that cause international conflicts. His efforts improved wheat yields in Mexico, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Near and Middle East, and in Africa.

Dr. Borlaug then became director of the International Wheat Improvement Programat the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), an international research training institute created by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in cooperation with the Mexican government. Here he trained scientists from a variety of countries in research and production methods.

Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Borlaug’s received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for contributing to world peace by increasing the food supply, particularly due to his work in eliminating food shortages in India and Pakistan. In 1997, in an Atlantic article called “Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity,” author Gregg Easterbrook, estimated that Borlaug’s work had prevented a billion deaths. Dr. Borlaug was 95 years old when he died, on September 12, 2009.

Cardinal in the snow

Watching the Birds

This cardinal enjoys the snowy landscape at Theodore Roosevelt Park.

Bamboo

Bamboo screen in Roosevelt Park

Is bamboo a grass?

Bamboo is a fast-growing giant grass that is native to southeastern Asia.  Its beautiful bright green delicate leaves cascade over slender branches, and it comes in cane colors of green, purple, olive-green, blue-gray, golden yellow, and black. Although most bamboo grows in tropical or subtropical regions, the species that grows in Roosevelt Park is hardy and tolerates subzero weather.

The music of bamboo

As the wind rustles bamboo leaves, it makes a sound that some people find conducive to meditation. The presence of this beautiful evergreen flowering perennial provides one more reason to relax in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

Where can you find bamboo in Theodore Roosevelt Park?

We have an attractive bamboo privacy screen near the Museum of Natural History’s west entrance at Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street.

Nandina Domestica

Nandina BushNandina Domestica is a hardy, adaptable, broadleaf evergreen shrub.

Heavenly Bamboo

This shrub is also known as “heavenly bamboo,” because its erect, cane-like stems and foliage give it an appearance similar to bamboo.

From eastern Asia to the Upper West Side

Nandina BerriesNative to eastern Asia, Nandina grows well in Theodore Roosevelt Park among the dappled shade gardens by the Nobel monument. Often grown as a hedge, Nandina is pest-resistant and tolerant of both heat and cold. It requires little pruning, and maintains its beauty throughout the year.

In spring, lacy pink leaves appear, eventually turning green, and showy clusters of white flowers with bright yellow anthers grow above the foliage. In autumn, older leaves turn red or purple, and bright red berries mature and persist through the winter.