THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2019The Rockaway Times
New Rockaway Parks Rep to Step Up in April
The next Rockaway Administrator for NYC Parks is stepping up to the beach. Last week, Parks announced that Eric Peterson will be taking on the role previously held by Portia Dyrenforth.
Peterson, called a “lifer Parkie,” will be stepping into the role starting in April, just in time for the busy summer season. However it seems he’s getting a head start on learning about the issues that impact Rockaway. Peterson made an appearance at Monday’s Community Board 14 Parks Committee meeting to hear about some updates for the 2019 summer season and concerns from board members and local residents.
According to a press release from Parks, sent on March 14, Peterson has been working with the Parks Department for 20 years, joining the force right after college. According to the release, Peterson has a long list of accomplishments while working for Parks.
“Eric began his career in the Marketing & Special Events office, where he oversaw various city-wide events, and helped to bring back the Winter Festival in Central Park.He then served as Director of Manhattan Special Events & Permits, overseeing everything from rallies to ribbon cuttings, and softball to sukkahs. Eric joined field Maintenance and Operations (M&O) as a Parks and Recreation manager in Brooklyn in 2004. His assignments there included Districts 1, 3, and 4, Pools, Requirement Projects, ADA, and staff development. Eric re-opened the derelict McCarren Pool for performances and festivals, including the Beastie Boys’ only major public show in Brooklyn. In 2008, Eric joined Capital as Chief of Staff for the Deputy Commissioner. In 2009, Eric returned to Manhattan and M&O, helping to open the High Line, and then moved on to become Deputy Administrator of Randall’s Island.
Working with Park Administrator Aimee Boden and leadership of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA), Eric developed an effective, integrated public-private partnership, drawing on assets from Parks and RIPA to seamlessly provide a quality park experience to patrons, improved environment, and a fulfilling workplace for the staff. At Randall’s Island, Eric has brought online more than $150 million in capital improvements, and developed state of good repair replacement cycles for synthetic turf and other capital assets.
”Peterson’s educational background is also impressive. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and International Studies from Yale, and a master's degree in Urban Studies from Queens College. He has also completed CORO’s Leadership New York and Parks’ Master Gardener program at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Peterson lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Previous administrator, Dyrenforth, was also a Brooklynite, but quickly adopted an understanding for Rockaway’s unique issues and worked with locals to bring new events to the peninsula, like Poseidon’s Parade and the Rockaway Times Sandcastle contest. Peterson has big shoes to fill, but we wish him good luck and success in this new role.