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July 14, 2012 By Steven Greer, MD
Battery Park is the greenest neighborhood in Manhattan in terms of energy efficient apartment buildings and well kept parks. It attracts residents with young kids for that reason. Also, environmentally active A-list celebrities, such as Leonardo DiCaprio, have moved here to take advantage of the state-of-the-art buildings, such as the Visionaire, 2 and 6 River Terrace, or the Solaire.
Our recent story exposing the massive waste of air-conditioned air that was pouring into the Goldman Alley, consuming unknown kilowatts of energy, resulted in the Conrad Hotel promptly fixing the problem by sealing off the open walkway to Bloom flowers. That was just the latest story which has made a difference to the local environment and ecosystems in Battery Park City.
In fact, BatteryPark.TV has turned into somewhat of a “Green Czar” of BPC. Some of the accomplishments to date include:
Ferry boat diesel pollution: BP.TV organized several Community Board meetings and presented strategies involving the EPA. As a result, the ferry boat company announced that it would spend more than $6 million to replace the worst diesel engines.
West Thames Park grass field: BP.TV broke the story about the feud between Gayle Horwitz’s Battery Park City Authority and the official owner of the grass field, the Hudson River Park Trust, which was causing the newly sodded field to be neglected and trampled into a mud pit. This neglect occurred not once, but twice, since the opening of the new park, ruining two fields. The grass field is now maintained by the BPC Parks Conservancy and the residents can enjoy seeing their children play on a rare patch of turf in the city, and adults can lay out in the sun without.
The mallard ducks and the waterfall pond: Although most people refer to “The duck pond” by the Irish Memorial, taking it for granted that the ducks exist, the very fact that mallard ducks have taken up residence there for three years is due to efforts by BP.TV. In 2009, BP.TV realized that the new hatchlings placed in the pond with inescapable walls were starving to death, and the Parks Conservancy refused to take care of them. In 2010, BP.TV stories recruited a volunteer from the ranks of the PEP officers to feed the ducklings, and all 10 of them made to adulthood and flew. With the unusual warm winters, many of those ducks have stayed year round.
Idling diesel tour buses on North End and South End Avenues: BatteryPark.TV has been, by far, the most influential force organizing other agencies within BPC to eradicated the huge problem of 9/11 Memorial tour buses that were illegally parking on the streets, oftentimes polluting the air with idling engines.
Improvements to community garden: The community gardens on Albany and West Side Highway were having trouble disposing of the large volumes of plant material. A very small compost bin being used was inadequate and overflowing resulting in numerous emails to the gardeners reprimanding them. BatteryPark.TV then convinced the Parks Conservancy to kindly pick up the material in their green trucks and dispose of it in the official BPC large compost pile by Pier A. Problem solved.
What’s next on the agenda for the BPC Green Czar? Hint: it involves an evil slum lord and wasted electricity.