Duane Park provides Tribeca with a much-needed dose of greenery and a myriad of seasonal blooms. The park’s curated garden boasts nine stately London Plane trees, evergreen hedges, flowering shrubs, ferns, perennials, flowering evergreen ground cover, and seasonal interest flowers and plants that continuously provide a colorful and peaceful refuge from the city streets.
Maintaining the consistent beauty of the park’s garden may seem effortless, but in fact, it is a collective effort of committed public and private partners. The Friends of Duane Park Board and Gardening Committee not only ensure that the detailed maintenance plan for the park is followed, but also get their hands dirty by actively participating in the labor required to keep the park in top notch shape. Together with our invaluable volunteers, private partners, and the Parks Department, we ensure Duane Park is a place our neighbors want to visit frequently.
The comprehensive plan for caring for Duane Park operates on many levels – from daily to yearly tasks. The Parks Department contributes by doing daily trash collection, (twice in the summer) keeping the walkways clear of major debris and snow, and assisting with emergencies. As an example, this past spring, there was a massive paint spill, and the Parks Department responded immediately, preserving the pavement from significant damage.
Friends of Duane Park employs private partners to assist with those jobs which require a greater level of expertise and equipment. Bartlett Tree Experts has kept our nine beautiful trees thriving with regular fertilization and fungicide treatments, large-scale pruning and hazard screenings to ensure the safety of all patrons. Higher Ground Horticulture has been instrumental in keeping a regular rotation of beautiful seasonal flowers and plants, as well as advising and implementing major plant changes and updates in the garden. Select Exterminating does the very important job of keeping the pests and rodents of the city at bay. And finally, LifeSource Irrigation keeps our garden alive by ensuring the irrigation system is functioning well and properly winterizing it in the off-season.
As you can see, it is a large effort to maintain Duane Park. In addition to the countless hours put in by our Board members and volunteers, Friends of Duane Park has an annual operating budget of approximately $15,000 for garden maintenance alone. This amount does not take into consideration major expenditures that occasionally occur. For instance, in 2018, we spent $13,800 on re-painting the fence. And, in 2021, we spent $8500 to paint the historic lampposts.
The Friends of Duane Park Board members and our wonderful group of neighborhood volunteers participate in weekly trash pick-ups, regular pruning of rose bushes, large shrubs, and hedge trimming. Additionally, we have major clean-up and planting days throughout the year. During these fun mornings, after enjoying our complimentary coffee from Laughing Man, we work to prepare the garden for the next season – cutting back and clearing old foliage and flowers, trimming overgrown bushes, raking and preparing the ground for the new plants and bulbs. But, the work doesn’t stop with the garden. The benches, cobblestones and pavement must also be maintained for our neighbors’ pleasure. Regularly power washing and scrubbing the benches and walkways keeps Duane Park a delightful spot to enjoy a coffee, lunch or late afternoon breath of fresh air.
We depend on our neighbors to help keep Duane Park beautiful. Our weekly trash pick-ups and periodic planting and clean-up days provide work for many hands. If you would like to become a volunteer gardener, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. No experience needed!