FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 25, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES LIFEGUARD RECRUITING CAMPAIGN AND LAKESIDE CENTER IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, February 25, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"New Yorkers enjoy the biggest and finest City parks system in the nation. And last week, working with partners in the private sector, we took two steps to make outdoor recreation-in the sun and on the ice-even better throughout the city.
"The first one looks forward to the warm weather that, believe it or not, is coming. The City's Department of Parks and Recreation has launched a new campaign with NYC & Company, New York's tourism and marketing organization. It's an advertising and marketing effort called 'Whistle Worthy.' Its goal is to recruit a record-setting corps of lifeguards-from our own city and nation and also from around the world-for City beaches and outdoor pools this summer. The Whistle Worthy campaign also reminds out-of-towners that our beaches are another great reason to visit New York City.
"Each year, we train and recruit more than 1,000 lifeguards for our more than 14 miles of City beaches-which will open to the public on May 26th-and our 53 public pools-which will open on June 29th. And the more lifeguards we have, the more beachfront and pool space we'll be able to keep open. It's a great summer job that pays a base rate of $11.72 an hour for a 48-hour week. The first step to proving that you're whistle-worthy is taking a free qualifying test at the Parks Department's lifeguard school on West 59th Street in Manhattan. The tests are going on now and will continue through mid-April. For more information, call 311, or visit the Parks Department web site at wwww.nyc.gov/parks.
"Last week we also unveiled plans to build two new outdoor ice skating rinks in Brooklyn's Prospect Park. Construction of this new $39 million Lakeside Center will begin next year. When the new rinks are finished in 2010, the existing Prospect Park rink, which opened 46 years ago, will be demolished. Taken together, the two new rinks will be one-third larger in size than the existing rink-good news for the roughly 100,000 people who ice skate in the park between November and March each year. And the Lakeside Center will also offer year-round exercise and recreation options, as well as a new café, party rental space, and other attractive features.
"About two-thirds of the money for this project is coming from public sources. That includes equal investments totaling $22.5 million from our Administration, the City Council, and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and also nearly $1 million in Federal funds secured by former Congressman Major Owens and Congressman Anthony Weiner. The Prospect Park Alliance, which raises millions of private dollars each year for park improvements and also for recreation and education programs, will put together the rest of the money needed to build the Lakeside Center. Like the Whistle Worthy campaign it's another great example of the public-private partnerships that provide essential support for parks in all five boroughs.
"Over the past five years, we've opened 300 acres of new parkland across the city. And the Whistle Worthy campaign and Lakeside Center project are two more ways we're making sure that, every season of year, New Yorkers can enjoy outdoor fun in our City parks.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address