Our 2015 Daffodil Honorees

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Click here to see a photo of the honorees and more about our breakfast! 


The Greenacre Foundation 

The Greenacre Foundation was founded in 1968 by Mrs. Abby Rockefeller Mauze, in order to maintain and operate one or more parks in New York State for the public. In 1971, she established Greenacre Park, a small vest-pocket park and waterfall on 51st Street in Manhattan, in order to provide New Yorkers "some moments of serenity in this busy world." In 1983 the Greenacre Foundation helped fund the restoration of the Heather Gardens and fund a master plan for Fort Tryon Park. The foundation continues to support nature walks for kids and families in Northern Manhattan Parks as well as other causes that champion parks and open spaces.


Basia Nikonorow
Partnership for Parks, Outreach Coordinator

Partnerships for Parks supports  community leaders and advocates with tools to transform open spaces into lively and vibrant assets for all to enjoy. Partnerships provides critical connection between active park groups and those interested in becoming involved, and offers expertise and guidance to co-create public spaces.  This year we honor the hard work of Basia Nikonorow, the Outreach Coordinator who serves the South Bronx. Ms. Nikonorow, whose participation in the Daffodil Project pre-dates her time with Partnerships. identified St. Mary’s Park in Mott Haven as a focus for community development, and worked with us to understand our research and planning assessments of the neighborhood. Using our former research reports and the NYCHA Choice Neighborhoods process as a catalyst, Basia has successfully formed a new Friends of St. Mary’s Park. Council. Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito recently committed $1.5M in funding for the redevelopment of Playground West in St. Mary’s. Basia also worked with us in her former district of Hunts Point to help us organize our planting event in Joseph Rodman Drake Park, in partnership with last year’s Bronx Honorees, P.S. 48. She also helped NY4P relocate our Bronx bulb distribution to St. Mary’s, helping us to bring more resources and visibility to the Mott Haven neighborhood, and the South Bronx as a whole.


Rosalina Mestric
Resident Gardener - Pomonok Houses, Bulb Brigade volunteer

In the warmer months, Ms. Mestric, a resident gardener of Pomonok Houses, can usually be found tending her slice of land known as Mestric Garden. Originally from Brazil, Ms. Mestric has given back to her new community by cultivating a beautiful space that is a visual delight for her neighbors to enjoy. As a long-time member of NYCHA’s Garden & Greening Program, her garden reflects the positive benefits of a resident taking ownership of a space that would otherwise be neglected. Her commitment to beautifying her development goes beyond her garden plot, as she decorates the garden with her own folk art created from found materials, and engages young residents to plant with her. Rosalina, our star Bulb Brigade volunteer for the past two seasons of the Daffodil Project, travels from far out Queens every fall to accompany us at our bulb distributions throughout the city. Her dedicated spirit demonstrates her passion and love for gardening as well as her commitment to fostering the next generation of stewards. Our events would not be the same without her.


Pamela Pettyjohn
Coney Island Beautification Project

The Coney Island Beautification Project was founded in response to Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the waterfront community. Two years post-Sandy, the organization continues to be a great force, engaging community members in beautification events to foster neighborhood stewardship. This spring, hundreds of daffodils will bloom all along Mermaid Avenue because of the Coney Island Beautification Project. The group organized the students of P.S 188, 288, 329, and Liberation Diploma Plus Academy (an alternative high school), along with a large network of community partners to make this event happen. In addition to the daffodil planting volunteer day, CIBP hosts “It’s My Park Day” events, street tree care workshops, and supports other local organizations. Coalitions like the Coney Island Beautification Project prove that residents can feel proud of their community by taking ownership for their streets, parks, and open spaces, while also continuing the important work of rebuilding a neighborhood hard-hit and still recovery.

Staten Island

Jody Stoll
Partnership for a Healthier Staten Island, Program Manager

In tune with a larger mission to create a healthier New York, Partnership for a Healthier Staten Island seeks to promote wellness and to improve the health of the Staten Island community through collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach. The Partnership aims to improve the health outcomes by preventing the leading causes of death and disability across the life span for all New Yorkers, particularly those who experience disparities in health. They will tackle health issues and identify evident based and innovative health promotions strategies specifically for healthy eating, active living, tobacco control, and reduced alcohol consumption. The goal of the Partnership is to significantly reduce chronic disease in New York City—for everyone—by supporting proven, community-level efforts, to change the environments in which people make decisions that impact their health. This fall, Jody Stoll organized multiple plantings along the North Shore of Staten Island, a primarily low-income part of the borough. The North Shore was also flooded during Sandy. Ms. Stoll received over 4,000 bulbs for various planting events organized by the Partnership for a Healthier Staten Island, and much of their focus was on Faber Park, where they recently organized a 2-day Daffodil Festival that took place in mid-April, and had over 1,200 attendees.

The Lynden B. Miller Citywide Daffodil Award

Jessie Kerr-Vanderslice
Grow to Learn NYC, Director

Grow to Learn was born in 2010 as a citywide school garden initiative to promote the creation of a sustainable school garden in each and every public school across New York City. From mini-grants, gardening materials, to technical assistance, Grow to Learn ensures that every public school has access to the information and support needed to create and maintain a successful garden. Their goal is to see that every New York City public school student has the opportunity to get their hands into the soil -- and learn and grow. Since 2013, Grow to Learn has distributed over 15,000 bulbs to approximately 80 public schools. They have been an amazing partner, and have helped get our daffodils into the hands of hundreds of school children to be planted and enjoyed by their communities when they are in bloom.

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