Monday, September 12, 2016

Carroll Gardens Bids Farewell To Kathleen Henderson, Carroll Park's Wonderful Playground Associate

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For over twenty summers, Kathleen Henderson, the beloved Carroll Park Playground Associate, has engaged neighborhood children in fun sports, games, art, and crafts activities in our park.
During this time, she has become a neighborhood mom, grandma, and friend to many little ones. She has seen scores of babies grow into adulthood, mine included.  And she remembers all by name. Everyone affectionately calls her the "Carroll Park Lady".  She has even been honored as a New York Woman of Distinction in Albany for her work.

So, when Kathleen announced that the summer of 2016 would be her last and that she is retiring from the Park's Department, everyone came to the park this past Saturday to bid her farewell and to wish her all the best.
State Senator Squadron, Assemblywoman JoAnne Simon and Councilman Brad Lander joined the celebration and honored Kathleen with proclamations.  Scores of kids crowded around Kathleen to hug her and some gave moving speeches about the told Kathleen played in their lives.
This neighborhood was incredibly lucky to have her and her presence will be very much missed.
Let us hope that she will come by often to visit Carroll Park and to reconnect to "her kids."

Have a wonderful retirement, Kathleen!  Thank you so much for all you have done for the park and the children of the neighborhood. Please stay in touch.



23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did the three junkies that now live by the bocce court join in the festivities? I and my partner have called 311 and each time they said they have sent Homeless Services to the park and can't find them. They are trashing the area up, going to the bathroom right behind the tree, scaring kids, adults and the dogs and no one will do anything about it.

Katia said...

How long have they been there?

kathleen henderson said...

Katia, They have been in the park for the entire time I have been there this summer. It is a married couple that have hung around the park for many years (they were friends with Gilbert - remember him?) The 3rd member of the party is the female that we had problems with over her pit bulls a couple of years ago. I am sure you remember her.

Homeless Services HAS been to the park, talked with them but they do not want to go with the people. HS cannot force them to go. The park crew has had the police involved. They talk to them, they leave and after hours, they come back.

Unfortunately there is a homeless problem in NYC (don't believe DiBlasio when he says it is better!) and it is affecting our park. They are not the only homeless sleeping there. There is someone who sleeps in the ball field every night as well. Who knows where he gets cardboard and blankets every night! but he leaves a mess for someone to clean every day. The Smith Street side of the parkhouse has always been 'a resting place' to many.

Yes, Anonymous, they did join in the festivities. I fed and gave water to the homeless woman as well as to a couple of homeless gentlemen passing thru who asked for food and drink. We must remember they are human beings, just like you and me. For reasons unknown to us, they are where they are and we are more prosperous. Yes, they do get hungry and if we have more than we need, why not share it. But for the grace of God, we could be them.

I wish I had an answer and a way to end the homelessness in our country.

Anonymous said...

About 4 weeks. I find them harmless though. They sleep there overnight and drink beer during the day. They keep to themselves and will likely be gone once it's colder.

Katia said...

Thank you, Kathleen for the additional information. And thank you for the reminder that compassion is always the right response.

Anonymous said...

They scream obscenities at my kid when we walk by. We were so scared!

Deborah said...

My little tike ran out of sight from me for one second and I found her scared behind the tree at the bocce court. One of the junkies was screaming at her and there was human feces everywhere! We need to take back our park!

kathleen henderson said...

I was in the park for the last 2 1/2 months and not one person mentioned to me or made any complaints about the homeless couple. I hope, Anon, you have made a report someplace other than just on this blog about aggressive behavior. I feel that is the only way they are going to get the help they need. Thank you.

Alison said...

I am so sorry we were out of town and missed this send off. Thank you, Kathleen, for all the years of hard work and love you've given Carroll Park and this community. I hope you have a wonderful retirement. You will be missed!

Jack S. said...

I said something to the ladies cleaning up the park. They said they were afraid to go over there, that they were yelled at too one time. I also spoke to passing cop car and he nodded and said they would look into it and rode off. I just avoid the my park now.

Anonymous said...

Wishing Kathleen many years of happiness, the same happiness she gave all our kids. My now young adult spend 3/4 of her life in Carroll Park, and when there were times I was not thee, and she was with a babysitter, Kathleen would assure me she would keep an eye on her. Kathleen Henderson was someone who MADE Carroll Gardens and the lovely park on oasis.

Thank you Kathleen for being there for all of us.

Anonymous said...

The junkies are gone, but it still smells of human pee and there are tons of empty pill and tea bottles strew around. Maybe this rain will help carry it away!

Carroll Gardens Family since before St. Agnes said...

The "Junkies" were there as recently as Thursday the 15th of September. The park is closed at night, so they either sneak back in OR they are never asked to leave in the first place.
Meanwhile, they haven't been aggressive to me - but I truly understand your concern, especially with kids. Do you remember what a Junkie Paradise the park became in the mid-1970's? Drug Sales? Dead bodies of O.D'ed people found at least once per month? However, I don't think this couple are junkies, I think they are recovering junkies who use the nearby Methadone Clinic on Court.
Meanwhile, it's not just Human Pee & Poop. Every morning there are 4 or 5 dog owners who let their dogs Off Leash and let them run free in the ball field and in the monument area. They are playful but do pee (and poop) all over. When all for charged me the other day (to inspect me - I'm a dog owner so I know the difference) one owner apologized, I said No Problem - but that's why there are Leash Laws. Almost in unison they all YELLED - "NOT until 9:a/m" "They don't need to be on a leash until 9:a/m" I said, that's a new one & news to me. I got dirty looks and went about my business.
Katia (or Kathleen)is this true - NO Leash required until 9:a/m???

Anonymous said...

Carroll Park Leash Laws -
Katia and/or Kathleen: Could either of you please explain the Leash Laws for dogs as they pertain to Carroll Park?
I, too, am getting mixed signals from people regarding dogs in Carroll Park. Being a dog owner I would love to give my boy the same freedom as many seem to be giving to their wonderful dogs.
Please advise - Mrs. Carroll Gardens Family since before St. Agnes

Katia said...

Dear Mrs. Carroll Gardens Family Since Before St. Agnes,
The signs in the park clearly state NO DOGS ALLOWED in children's play areas and gardens. They are permitted in the ball field, monument area and areas and the seating areas, but must be on leashes AT ALL TIMES.
The rules are clearly marked by the Parks Department all around the park.

I wrote several posts about this issue over the past few years.
Here is one that states the rules concerning dogs in the park here:
http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/2009/02/no-shit-dogs-not-allowed-in-carroll.html

This has been an ongoing problem in the park as dog owners have let their dogs do their business freely in the rock garden as well as in the play areas without any regards for the children who play there.

Anonymous said...

SOME Dogs Owners Still Don't Care -
Thank you for getting back to me so quickly and for the link to the 2009 Blog Posts.
Please note that many of the signs you show in that 2009 post are NO Longer posted.
There were once signs on every entry to the ball-field; there are now none.
Yes, the signs for NO DOGS IN PLAY AREA are still there.
And dogs were in the "Rock Garden" as recently as this past July (although lately that gate has been kept closed)
Dogs were once allowed ONLY in the Monument Area and (of course) on a Leash. The Sprinkler area was once considered a Children's Play Area, too so dogs (with or without a leash) were not allowed there either.
I love my dog - but I do not walk him off leash ANYWHERE. And it's very frustrating to not only see other owners allow their dogs Off-Leash, but then they try to talk me into letting my dog off his. They say, "It's allowed up to 9:a/m"
I (and several others) have stopped bringing our Leashed Dogs to Carroll Park because of this group of 4 or 5 who can NOT control their own dogs and yet let them off-leash. By the way, there are still a couple of owners who "Accidently" drop the Leash Strap for the entire duration of their dogs' visit. Whoooops.
Perhaps a morning 'walk-thru' by the NYPD instead of a "Drive Around, While Texting" would be a better use of resources.
-Mrs. C.G. Family since before ST. Agnes.

Katia said...

Believe it or not, quite a few signs were ripped down, perhaps by dog owner. over time.
I am sure a request can be made to the Parks department to put new ones up.
The 76th Precinct, under various commanders, have made sure that the park was closed at night, but lately, that does not seem to be a priority. We should bring it to their attention.

Anonymous said...

Carroll Gardens Family since before St. Agnes you are probably talking about Doug and his large Malamute dog. That dog has gone after my little schnauzer a few times as I walked thru the park (while my dog was leashed), luckily I was able to scoop him up and protect as Doug walks over and says everything was ok, thats just the way his dog greets people as me and my little pup have a heart attack right before we are about to be ripped apart. You probably know Doug, he lives at the old church/now apts on President and Court. He lets everyone with a dog know its okay for their dog to be off leash until 9am.

Anonymous said...

WE = YOU.
Hi Katia - As the semi-official "Voice of The (C.G.) People" perhaps you could get word to the Parks Department & P.Pct.
And yes, I do believe it about the signs. I noticed it myself in the past. And, I walked with my husband to the train this morning and we went through the park - and I made it a point to look for the signs we discussed.
The ones specifically about dogs: The one on the gate of the Rock Garden is there and the gate itself was closed, and there's one (ONLY one) sign at the entrance to the ball-field on the President Street side; hidden by a tree.
Missing were: the 3 other signs that once were posted at each entrance of the ball-field, plus EVERY other No Dogs Allowed sign that were once up are now gone.
There's NO LONGER one before the ramps from the Monument Area to the Sprinkler Area, NOT one into either of the play-set areas, NOT one leading from the Smith Street Seating area heading towards the Sprinkler area. There aren't even the PRO-Dogs signs that used to be posted - - - The ones showing Dogs OK on a Leash.
Ironically, where most of the Dogs Signs (pro & con)once hung are now the signs to parents that alert them to NOT allow their children to play on to too near the flowers.
I'd hate to think that the "Planting Crew" of the Friends of C.G. decided that their daisies were more important than the children?!?!
YES - the Park Rules signs are still there at at-least two of the entrances. One was covered with stickers.
-Mrs. C.G. Family since before ST. Agnes.

Anonymous said...

NO Dogs in certain areas of Carroll Park:
Hello Again Katia -
Per your post of 2009:
Official Parks Department rules on dogs in Carroll Park:
* No dogs EVER allowed off leash in the Park.
* No dogs allowed in the Ball field, children's play area, sprinkler area and planting beds.
** Dogs are allowed ON LEASHES in the area around the monument and along the Smith Street side.
- Mrs. C.G. Family since before St. Agnes

Katia said...

There you go. No dogs off leash ever allowed in the park.

Katia said...

I will try to bring this to the attention of the Friends of Carroll Park at its next meeting. Perhaps we can request more signs.
The rock garden area has been closed because the park was infested with rats this summer and the Parks Department has baited some of the planting areas. There were rat tunnels under the big rock, so, obviously, its better to keep kids AND pest away from there for the time being.

Anonymous said...

Of course there will be rats. The mulch is too think, the dirt is too soft, dogs (who are NOT vegans) poop & pee there, kids who play with there bring Food, and finally the subway runs right under portions of the park, and the past Winter wasn't harsh enough (long enough) to kill off the nests.
It's smart they are being pro-active and even smarter to use Baits & Poison.
Meanwhile,
Thank you for calling it to the attention of the F.o.C.P.
Mr. CG Fam since Before St. Agnes