Doug Blonsky was honored as he 2008 RU LA Alumni of the Year.
As part of his visit, he spoke about his work at the Central Park Conservancy and the challenges facing the organization and the park. One problem is funding for day-to-day policy: "When you run out of money with a building, it catches up with you in a feew years. In a landscape it catches up almost immediately." We also see many cities and counties separating the design and operations staff, which shows in the long-term outcomes in their parks. Restoration, a common part of maintaining the park, requires a different understanding and approach.
CPC went from an informal organization to the official caretaker for Central Park. Their strategies have also evolved from informal to highly structured. Of course, the park has also transformed from graffitied and boarded up to clean and pristine. They are both very professional and yet heavily reliant upon over 200 volunteers.
But you never know what other project will pop up on short notice. Blonsky said he spent a few years working with Christo and Jean Claude to help make sure that The Gates worked out.
(The top photo is a Legoland model of Bethesda Terrace and Fountain.)