2019 Fundraiser A Great Success!

Supporters of the Friends of Pelham Bay Park gathered on April 24 for a wonderful evening at the Pelham-Split Rock Golf Clubhouse.  Everyone enjoyed the lovely spring weather, the tasty treats and giveaways, and especially the fun picture-taking board with summertime props provided! It was a great opportunity to honor Michael Benedetto, New York State Assembly Member; Anthony Ramirez II & Paul Ramirez, Co-founders of Mainland Media, From The Bronx, The Bronx Beer Hall & Taste of The Bronx; and Thomas X. Casey, President, Huntington Free Library. The festivities were led by special guest and emcee, Michael Max Knobbe, Executive Director, BronxNet.

Thank you to all attendees, and to our generous sponsors: New York City Council Member Mark Gjonaj, Five J’s Automotive, Schuyler Hill Funeral Home, Cummins Sales + Service, Pelham Community Rowing Association, and Bartlett Tree Experts.

A special shout out also to everyone who donated to our raffle prizes: The Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Conservancy, Bistro SK, The Black Whale, The Bronx Beer Hall, The Bronx Equestrian Center, The Bronx Historical Society, Bronx River Alliance, Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society, City Island Nautical Museum, From the Bronx, #LovingtheBronx, Morris Perk Coffee, NBC Universal, Pelham-Split Rock Golf Courses, Seashore Restaurant, and Turtle Cove Golf Center.


Posted in Uncategorized

Picture the Beach! Photo Contest with the Friends of Pelham Bay Park

orchard beach opens 2







When should you submit your image?

People at the Beach: Jan 1-8
Scenic Vistas: Jan 21-27
Wildlife: Feb 11-17
Infused by Bronx History: Mar 4-10
Seasons: Mar 25-31

Posted in Picture the Beach!

Picture the Beach! Photo Contest: Rules, Terms and Conditions

The Friends of Pelham Bay Park and the City Island Nautical Museum invite photographers to enter its Picture the Beach! Photo Contest.  As plans begin for the restoration of the landmark Pavilion at Orchard Beach, we want to celebrate the beach—one of the great treasures of Pelham Bay Park.

You must read the following rules, terms and legal conditions before submitting any photos.

The Friends of Pelham Bay Park Picture the Beach! Digital Photo Contest (the “Contest”) is open to ALL photographers at least 18 years of age, except employees of the City of New York/Parks & Recreation. The contest is open to all participants regardless of residence or citizenship, so long as the laws of their jurisdiction allow participation.

A panel of Judges will choose their five favorite photos in each thematic category; they will not know who the photographers are. The five winning photos in each category will then be posted on the Friends Facebook page, where visitors will be able to vote for the final winners. The contest then goes back to our panel.  The panel will decide on one overall Grand Prize winner from the five category winners; that winner will be announced at the Friends of Pelham Bay Park’s Spring Fundraiser on April 19, 2018.  All five category winners will be displayed at the fundraiser.

All photographs featured on Facebook for voting will then be included in an exhibition at the City Island Nautical Museum. Those contestants will be invited to the opening reception, when scheduled. The exhibition may travel to other venues. The photographs will be returned to their owners at the conclusion of the exhibition (s).


We are looking for striking images to celebrate the many assets of Orchard Beach – its inherent beauty, unique flora and fauna, interesting history and architecture, and how park users enjoy it in so many different ways.  The five contest categories are:

  • People at the Beach
  • Scenic Vistas
  • Wildlife
  • Infused by Bronx History
  • Seasons

If you choose to include recognizable people in your submission, you are responsible for obtaining the necessary releases from the individuals depicted, and must be able to provide copies of those releases to The Friends upon request. Entrants must not submit images that involve human nudity, the willful harassment of wildlife or damage to the environment by the photographer; place any individual or animal in danger; or infringe on the rights of any other photographer or person.

All photographs should accurately reflect the subject matter and the scene as it appeared. Photos that have been digitally altered beyond standard optimization (that is, removal of dust, cropping, reasonable adjustments to exposure, color and contrast, etc.) will be disqualified.  Images that do not meet these requirements may or may not be included in the contest.


The Friends will ask for photograph submissions on its Facebook page and webpage. All images must be submitted via email to friendsofpelhambaypark@gmail.com during the period of submission for the category your photo falls into. Images must be submitted by the deadlines. When submitting your photo please include a photo caption, subject of the image, where it was taken, date photo was taken and name of photographer(s).


Entries may originate in any format including, but not limited to, digital files, digital prints, color transparencies, color prints, or black and white prints — so long as they are submitted electronically.  Please do not submit a photo you entered in our previous photo contest in 2015.

Submissions may be watermarked if desired, but the watermark should be inconspicuous enough to not interfere with the judging of the photo. A watermarked photo might not be honored by the competition (at the Friends’ discretion) if the photographer is unable or unavailable to provide a pristine, watermark-free version of the image when asked.

Images in each category will be judged by a Panel of three judges. Their five choices in each category will then be voted on by anyone who visits The Friends of Pelham Bay Park’s Facebook page. The Facebook winner of each category will be the photo receiving the most “likes.”   Once those winners have been determined, the Panel will choose an overall Grand Prize winner to be announced at the Spring Fundraiser on April 19, 2018.


People at the BeachSubmission: Jan. 1-8 and Voting: Jan. 13-20
Scenic Vistas–Submission: Jan. 21-27 and Voting: Feb. 4-10
Wildlife–Submission: Feb. 11-17 and Voting: Feb. 25-Mar. 3
Infused by Bronx History–Submission: Mar. 4-10 and Voting: Mar. 18-24
Seasons–Submission: Mar. 25-31 and Voting: Apr. 8-14

The Friends reserves the right to adjust any deadline(s) as the result of causes beyond its immediate control.


One photographer will be eligible to win in not more than two thematic categories.

The winners in each category, as determined by Facebook voters, will be mounted and displayed at our Spring Fundraiser. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the Fundraiser and the photographer will receive a prize.

The finalists in all categories, as determined by the Panel, will be included in an exhibition at the City Island Nautical Museum, and possibly other venues.


Your photographs will help The Friends of Pelham Bay Park share the amazing diversity and beauty of Orchard Beach on our website, Facebook page and potentially in brochures, postcards, calendars, etc. Thank you for helping to further our mission through your photography.

If your photograph is posted on Facebook for voting, you grant The Friends of Pelham Bay Park a royalty-free, nonexclusive right, in perpetuity, to:

  • Use the photograph on the Internet in support of our mission.
  • Use the photograph in The Friend’s non-commercial communications.
  • Use the photograph for fundraising purposes on prints, postcards, calendars, and similar items.
  • Provide your photograph to other individuals and organizations for non-commercial use, The Friends-related use in news stories, newsletters, reports, slide shows, displays, web pages, and the like.
  • Use, in connection with the Photo Contest, your name in promotions and other publications.
  • Keep the files provided, and to archive the images on CD or in other electronic forms, so that your photos can be used to support our mission and be properly credited.

As conditions of this permission, The Friends shall credit all photographs with the caption “© Person’s Name” when the full name is available.


If you have any questions about the photo contest, voting, etc., please send an email to friendsofpelhambaypark@gmail.com.

Posted in Picture the Beach!

Picture the Beach! Photo Contest: Panel of Judges

Jane Protzman has lived on City Island since 1991 but had already sailed for many years from the area.  Since retiring from AT&T she pursued a travel bug, primarily embarking on expedition ships and photographing as she went along. Her book, “Water Water Every Where” contains 30 images from 20 years of those trips. She has had exhibits of her photographs at the libraries of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Port Washington and at the City Island Nautical Museum.

Deborah Wye is Communications Chair of the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and maintains the group’s website and Facebook page. She has taken a special interest in the Orchard Beach Pavilion, organizing an exhibition and lecturing on this historic landmark. Wye spent her career as a curator at The Museum of Modern Art, presenting some twenty-five exhibitions there.

Barbara Burn Dolensek has lived on City Island since 1976 and has been active in the City Island community for many years. She has been on the staff of The Island Current since 1985, an officer of the City Island Civic Association since 1992, and an officer of the City Island Historical Society and administrator of the Nautical Museum since 1995. She is also on the executive board of the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and a member of the Garden Club of City Island and the Friends of Pelham Bay Park.


Posted in Picture the Beach!

Picture The Beach! Photo Contest: Legal Conditions

By entering this contest, you agree to all of the terms and conditions relating to this contest and you are responsible for understanding Your Rights.

By entering, participants agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless The Friends of Pelham Bay Park and The City Island Nautical Museum, Their respective subsidiaries, affiliates, directors, officers, employees, attorneys, agents and representatives, from any and all third party liability for any injuries, loss, claim, action, demand or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with the competition (collectively, “Losses”), including without limitation any third party claim for copyright infringement or a violation of an individual’s right to privacy and/or publicity right. The Contest is void where prohibited by law.

Each entrant in the Contest (each “Entrant”) is responsible for ensuring that he or she has the right to submit the photos that he or she submits to the Contest per these rules.

You agree that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved with the Friends, and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, before a court of competent jurisdiction located in Bronx, New York, which court shall apply the laws of the State of New York without regard for rules of conflicts of law. IN ANY SUCH DISPUTE, PARTICIPANT SHALL NOT BE ENTITLED TO ANY PUNITIVE, SPECIAL, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES, OR ANY DAMAGES OTHER THAN PARTICIPANT’S ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES (IF ANY) ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATING IN THE CONTEST. YOU HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS TO HAVE DAMAGES MULTIPLIED OR INCREASED. The Contest and The Friends of Pelham Bay Park website and Facebook are provided “as is” without warranty of any kind, either express or implied.

The Friends of Pelham Bay Park is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the photo competition, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the photo competition, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. The Friends of Pelham Bay Park assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. The Friends of Pelham Bay Park is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer on-line systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to participant’s or to any other person’s computer related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the photo contest.

If, for any reason, the photo competition is not capable of completion as planned, including but not limited to, any reason of infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of The Friends of Pelham Bay Park that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the photo competition, The Friends of Pelham Bay Park reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the photo competition.

Posted in Picture the Beach!

October Volunteer Dates!

Join the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and get your hands dirty keeping the park clean!

From 10 am to 1pm, come volunteer in our park!

Saturday, Oct 14 Removing invasive plants in the South Woodlands (Pelham South)
Saturday, Oct 28 Tree planting with NRG/Stewardship Program. Register here.

No experience necessary. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear and a long-sleeved shirt, and bring water and lunch.

For more information, or to check for a weather-related cancellation, contact Trail Committee chairperson Nilka Martell at nilkamartell@yahoo.com or 347-992-2860.

Posted in Uncategorized

Pelham Bay Park Featured on News12 The Bronx

The Hutchinson River Restoration Project in conjunction with NYC Parks took part in the International Coastal Cleanup organized by the Ocean Conservancy this past Sunday, September 17. Check out the coverage on News12 The Bronx (you may need a subscription to access this article)

We greatly appreciate all the volunteers and organizations, like the Hutchinson River Restoration Project, who help keep our park clean, wild, and beautiful. If you want to participate in future volunteer events, you can always contact us, or contact HRRP by phone at at 718 885 9653 or by email at HutchinsonRRP@aol.com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Summer So Far

It’s been a busy and exciting summer in Pelham Bay Park! Here’s what has happened so far:

  • On Thursday, June 22nd, NYC Parks brought SING to the park with Movies under the Stars.
  • Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr and State Senator Jeff Klein hosted their annual fireworks display on June 29th to celebrate Independence Day.
  • Family Fun Day kicked off the summer on July 8. We partnered with the Westchester Square Zerega Improvement Organization to bring an afternoon of fun and entertainment for the whole family.
  • The Pelham Bay Park Administrator’s Office brought juggling, comedy, puppet shows, and acrobats to the Playground for All Children in July and August.

    The Andrew Show at the Playground for All Children c Sam Halpern 2017

    The Andrew Show at the Playground for All Children (Photo: Sam Halpern)

  • The New York Public Library has been reading stories in the shade of the gazebo in the Playground for All Children, every Thursday at 11am.
  • On July 15th, the Pelham Bay Park Administrator’s Office and Bronx Recreation brought roller skating to Orchard Beach for families and adults.

    The Bronx Boogie Roller Jam c Sam Halpern 2017

    The Bronx Boogie Roller Jam (Photo: Sam Halpern)

  • Movies under the Stars came to Orchard Beach on July 21st with Rogue One, the latest movie set in the Star Wars universe.
  • NYC Parks brought Japanese drumming sensation Taikoza to the Playground for All Children on July 22nd.
  • The Bronx Arts Ensemble filled the park with the sweet sounds of Salsa and Afro-Cuban Music with Greg Diamond Band on July 28th.

    Beach Volleyball at Orchard Beach (Photo: Sam Halpern)

    Beach Volleyball at Orchard Beach (Photo: Sam Halpern)

  • On July 29th, Bronx Recreation and the Pelham Bay Park Administrator’s Office bring volleyball back to the beach.
  • Next up: Silent Disco at Orchard Beach on August 12th! RSVP here. [Edit: Silent Disco has been postponed. The event will be held on September 9!]

As always, join our newsletter to always stay up to date on what’s happening in our Pelham Bay Park

Posted in Uncategorized

Groundbreaking for Fitness Equipment and Sensory Nature Trail

Parks Department Officials, Elected Officials, Friends of Pelham Bay Park, and Community Members Break Ground

Parks Department Officials, Elected Officials, Friends of Pelham Bay Park, and Community Members Break Ground

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Deputy Bronx Borough President Aurelia Greene, Council Member James Vacca, the Friends of Pelham Bay Park, and community members to break ground on the installation of new fitness equipment and an accessible nature walk at Pelham Bay Park.

“This project will improve the recreational space here in Pelham Bay Park and will be a useful amenity for both children and adults,” said Commissioner Silver. “I’d like to thank Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member James Vacca, and the Friends of Pelham Bay Park for making this happen.”

“Our parks are critical to a healthier, happier Bronx, especially as we move forward with the #Not62 campaign and work to improve health indicators in every Bronx community. This project will bring new exercise equipment for all ages to Pelham Bay Park, and I am proud to have provided $200,000 from my own capital budget to bring these new amenities to the East Bronx. In partnership with Council Member James Vacca and the Parks Department, we have reinvigorated Pelham Bay Park and ensured that users of all types will be able to get fit and stay fit as a result of this project,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

Council Member Vacca contributed $416,000 which will provide various exercise apparatus including a pushup and pull-up bar, sit-up and dip benches, and much more.

“Adding fitness equipment in our parks has been one of my major funding priorities,” said Council Member James Vacca. “It’s no secret that we have a health crisis in the Bronx. Many people do not have access to gyms or exercise centers. These installations provide a convenient place for residents to work out and get in shape. I thank Commissioner Silver, Commissioner Rodriguez-Rosa and the Parks Department for their commitment to this project.”

Additionally, Council Member Vacca provided $100,000 in funding for the nature walk – a development that involves building an accessible path with viewing areas around a small vernal pond in the Playground for All Children. Known as “Pond Walk,” the project will allow children with limited mobility to explore the pond’s edge for the first time. This plan was also advocated for and supported by the Friends of Pelham Bay Park who raised $15,000 which went toward the design of the nature walk.

“Friends of Pelham Bay Park deeply appreciates the generous support of Council Member Jimmy Vacca,” stated Friends’ President Lizbeth Gonzalez. “The Friends spearheaded the Pond Walk initiative to ensure that children of all abilities can experience nature up-close and in a playful way. And just as important, we advocated for outdoor exercise equipment so everyone, irrespective of income, can be fit and look good. Who could ask for anything more?”

This project is expected to be completed by next summer.


Posted in Uncategorized

Call for Artists: Garden Exhibition at Bartow-Pell

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum invites artists to submit their work for an outdoor, temporary group exhibition to celebrate the centennial of its formal gardens. Artists selected for the exhibition will have an opportunity for their work to be seen by thousands of visitors to Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, gardens, and grounds, located within Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx. Artworks that complement the formal gardens and surrounding natural environment, draw on the history of the site, or inspire dialogue, are encouraged. Possible themes may include, but are not limited to, kinetic art incorporating elements in nature; history of gardens and their uses, such as food, medicine, or pleasure; the local ecosystem; or how the built environment co-exists with nature.

Artworks must be capable of withstanding adverse weather conditions and high-traffic areas, suitable for family viewing, and safe for children. All media will be considered, but electrical access is not guaranteed. If the work has a light or sound, for example, it should include reliable solar power. Artists will be responsible for fabrication, transportation, installation, maintenance, deinstallation, and site restoration, including providing tools, materials, and equipment. Proposals will be reviewed by the Museum Curator and Executive Director as well as NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. Selected artists will receive a $200 stipend to help cover materials, transportation, or installation. There is no entry fee to apply.

Submission Deadline: Sunday, July 24, 2016

Notification of Selected Artists: August 2, 2016

Exhibition dates: September 2–October 23, 2016


  • Description of proposed artwork (title, medium, dimensions, weight, anchoring procedure)
  • Artist’s statement describing the relevance of the proposed work to the site
  • 3-10 images of work samples. Images must be labeled with artist name and artwork title.
    • If proposing existing work: photographs of artwork, including reference to human scale
    • If proposing a new work: working drawings or photograph of maquette to scale
  • Artist’s resume or CV

EMAIL PROPOSALS TO: bartowpellart@gmail.com. If you have any questions, please contact Alyssa Fridgen at: 718.885.1461. We are looking forward to reviewing your proposals. Thank you for your interest in Bartow-Pell!

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