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November 2, 2009

CCNY Joins Nations’s First Offical Heritage Rose District

The City College of New York’s scenic campus, with its landmark neo-gothic buildings, is about to get greener. The 162 year-old institution is now part of the nation’s first official “Heritage Rose District.”

A variety of heritage roses including the rare “Green Rose” were planted by a group of CCNY officials, Heritage Rose Foundation members and community residents on the west side of the 35-acre campus, along Amsterdam Avenue (between 135th and 136th Streets) on October 24.

This followed the “Heritage Rose District” ground breaking in Harlem and Washington Heights earlier in the day by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and officials from the Parks & Recreation Department and the Heritage Rose Foundation.  The event was held on “It’s My Park Day” on which New Yorkers volunteer and celebrate their neighborhood parks and public spaces.Two young residents help Paimaan Lodhi [middle], Urban Planner in the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, and Dane Twining of the Heritage Rose Foundation at the heritage rose planting at CCNY.

Said Borough President Stringer: “Today, we’re re-introducing some native New Yorkers with deep roots back into West Harlem and Washington Heights. Having this area become known as the nation’s first Heritage Rose District will bring a big dose of flower power to a place of rich cultural and historical significance.”

Over a hundred heritage rose bushes will be planted by various groups of officials and volunteers at nine sites in the community this year. The flowers will be in full bloom in the spring.

“Heritage” roses are a collection of roses originating in the nineteenth century or earlier, with particular historic, educational, or genetic value. They are also known as old roses, wild roses, heirloom roses, historic roses, and antique roses.

CCNY’s inclusion in the Heritage Rose District was initiated by Joan Newman, Deputy to the Dean, The City College School of Education, and a community activist.  Robert Santos, CCNY’s Vice President for Campus Planning & Facilities, helped to coordinate the project on campus.

“When I heard that they would be creating this wonderful Heritage Rose District I felt that City College should also be involved,” said Ms. Newman, a Washington Heights resident and member of the Heritage Rose District Program steering committee.

“The green element is number one and, of course, to beautify the campus and northern Manhattan with these gorgeous flowers is also very important,” she added.

Some of the  other sites within the Heritage Rose District are: Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum;  the plaza at 155th Street and Riverside Drive; Audubon Terrace; Broadway Malls at 153rd Street and Broadway; the Morris-Jumel Mansion; Montefiore Park at 137th Street and Broadway, and Jackie Robinson Park at 145th Street and Bradhurst Avenue.
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