We recently received responses from NYC Parks to the questions raised during our April 26th community meeting. Below are the answers provided by Tapashi Narine, Administrator of Historic Harlem Parks, and other Parks officials. These responses address various concerns and plans for Marcus Garvey Park.
Stay tuned as we’re expecting responses to additional questions about funding.
Q: Can we have Bishop’s Crook lamp posts throughout the park?
A: While Bishop Crook’s lights are beautiful, they do not last very long and we don’t see the benefit of installing them. The Bishop Crook lights installed at Morningside Park were funded by the Council Member.
Q: Is it possible to install cameras on top of the Acropolis?
A: Parks and NYPD has to agreed to install camera on top of Acropolis. Parks agreed to install cameras there and will follow up with NYPD.
Q:How do we ensure our volunteer efforts are recorded in your application?
A: Tapashi encourages volunteers from MMPCIA to reach out to her. Depending on what type of volunteer event (non-profit, corporate, or local group), I can connect you to the relevant Parks’ employee. If your volunteer efforts are with Partnership for Parks, your hours will be logged by them.
Q:Who monitors the contractors working in the park?
A: If you notice something out of the ordinary, please let a Parks’ employee know. Parks has a resident engineer assigned to every construction project and can check an unsafe condition once notified.
Q: Which community board is responsible for the park?
A: Marcus Garvey borders community board 10 and 11 but the park sits in community board 11.
Q:When will the pool be renovated?
A: There are no current pool renovations planned. In front of the pool building, we have removed dead trees and planted 5 trees and 3 shrubs in planters. In preparation for pool season, we scrape and repaint the pool.
Q: Can the city improve drainage in the dog runs to avoid standing water after rain?
A: This may be a capital project and we will explore with the Marcus Garvey dog run group.
Q: Are there plans to upgrade to safer surfaces like turf, similar to other city dog parks?
A: This may be a capital project and we will explore with the Marcus Garvey dog run group.
Q:Is there a plan to install a statue of Marcus Garvey in the park?
    1. Jonathan Kuhn and Jennifer Lantzas are with Parks’ Arts and Antiquities team which oversees all permanent and temporary monuments and artwork in parks. Tapashi has provided their contact to Linette Dunbar and Laurent Delly who are following up on this request.
    2. Additionally, you can find information on Parks’ guidelines online, as well as the Public Design Commission’s requirements for permanent artwork (and more specifically memorials), as all permanent artworks on city property must be approved by them.

Q: What actions are being taken to address inappropriate behavior around the Watchtower?

A: Parks is aware of the issues surrounding the Watchtower and is looking for ways to activate this space. This year, we will have art sculptures leading up to and on top of the Acropolis until October. We’re open to hearing your ideas and are exploring possibilities internally.

Q: Will there be sculptures or art exhibits in the park this year?
A: Yes, there will be artwork installed in Marcus Garvey in May until October.
Q: Can we create temporary Harlem pickleball courts on the Acropolis?
A: Currently, the surface on the Acropolis is uneven and thus, doesn’t lend itself for pickleball use.
Q: Where is the Park Enforcement Station located?
A: Behind the Recreation Center, to the north of the amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park
Q: What are the main capital projects for this year? We can reference [link].
    1. The pathway project is the main capital project this year. It includes constructing four ADA-compliant ramps into the park, began April 22. This work, in different areas of the park, will be phased over a three-year period and will be coordinated with other work planned in the park.  We don’t anticipate any impact on other projects.
    2. The ADA ramps will be constructed outside the Rec Center and the path reconstruction will take place in the north portion of the amphitheater. The affected area is highlighted in red in the image below. Construction will last approximately 6 weeks in this section. The entrances at 124th Street, Mount Morris Park W and 123rd Street, and the north side of the recreation center will be closed during this time.

Tapashi Narine

Administrator of Historic Harlem Parks

NYC Parks


In 2023, MMPCIA made significant strides in enriching and preserving the Mount Morris Historic District. Here’s a comprehensive overview of our achievements:

Banners: New banners along Malcolm X Blvd celebrated our historic community and local businesses, enhancing the streetscape with vibrant visuals.

Patrica Eaton Scholarship: Renamed to honor its creator, the scholarship program continued its legacy of supporting education by awarding numerous scholarships to future leaders nationwide.

Community Engagement: Partnering with Harlem Grown/Mellon Grant, we organized impactful initiatives like the Juneteenth acknowledgment concert and “We’re Outside Art in Harlem” exhibit, fostering community unity and showcasing local talent.

125th Street BID Holidaylights Parade: MMPCIA’s participation in this festive event brought joy to the community, supporting local vendors and showcasing our district’s vibrancy.

Spring Stoop Sale: Our annual event promoted community bonding and sustainability, offering unique finds and fostering friendly conversations among neighbors.

Membership Appreciation Event: A curated wine tasting at Harlem Wine Gallery provided members with an opportunity to connect, enjoy local cuisine, and learn about our focus on landmark preservation.

Community Clean-Up Initiatives: MMPCIA actively participated in community clean-up projects, including the NY Jr. League’s Marcus Garvey clean-up and GreenerLenox cleanup, beautifying our neighborhood and instilling pride.

Halloween Community Event: Over 50 neighbors joined our community trick-or-treat event, showcasing creativity and fostering a sense of belonging.

Website Launch: Our new website was launched, serving as a hub for historical and current community information.

Landmarks Preservation: We led protests against building demolitions, formed partnerships with preservationists, and conducted building surveys to identify structures at risk.

Real Estate Tax Protest: Our annual information session educated property owners about their rights to protest NYC property taxes.

5G Tower Installation: MMPCIA addressed concerns about 5G tower installations in our historic district.

Participatory Budgeting: Members engaged in developing a public outreach plan to increase community participation in NYC’s budget allocation process.

2024 Goals 

At the beginning of the year, the directors gathered to review the status of MMPCIA. We determined that significant progress had been made throughout our extensive history, providing us with a solid foundation to enhance our role as a more effective and efficient server to the community. Our primary focus for 2024 is to represent a Historic District, which we consider an honor and a significant responsibility.

We plan to establish a platform and framework to encourage member and community involvement in developing plans to honor and preserve our wonderful neighborhood’s rich history and culture.

We welcome all readers of this newsletter to join us and contribute your passion, knowledge, time, and resources to help make the Mt. Morris Park Historic Community a place that celebrates our past and future.

Here in Harlem, jazz and the visual arts go hand-in-hand, and this year we’re using the celebration of one of the most significant figures in jazz history to also highlight current stars in Harlem’s art scene.  

This month the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival is back for its 31st year, including two free, star-studded concerts right here in the community at Marcus Garvey Park. Hosted by City Parks Foundation, this year’s festival features Orrin Evans and The Captain Black Big Band with singer Dianne Reeves at the park on Friday, August 25, and Endea Owens & The Cookout along with The Cookers on Saturday, August 26.

That Saturday, the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association is also exhibiting the work of a handful of talented Harlem-based artists in the park. From 3-7 p.m. the work of 10 artists will be displayed on easels on the Northwest Park Lawn, providing a free and open opportunity for everyone to enjoy some of the best modern artwork Harlem has to offer. 

The featured artists are Jonelle Justine Austin, Fable Jones, Fitgi Saint Louis, Thomas Heath, Debbie Taylor-Kerman, Reginald Rousseau, Letty, Destina Santana, Mystique Washington and Larry Bentley. The artists draw from a diverse range of inspirations, artistic mediums and cultural backgrounds, with the common thread being their current roots in Harlem.

The exhibition is curated by artist and former gallerist, Fable Jones, an highlights a mix of emerging and more veteran artists.

Saxophonist Charlie Parker – often referred to simply as “Bird” – was a pioneer of the bebop style of playing, which was an important movement in the jazz genre that expanded the possibilities of improvisation. Parker was born in August 1920 in Kansas City and died at just 34 years old. 

While he wasn’t raised in Harlem, Parker played in Harlem clubs alongside other jazz giants like Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie. Though he died 68 years ago, Bird is still considered one of the greatest saxophonists ever to live, and a major influence for those who came after him, including John Coltrane.