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Joining the Mayor at today's announcement were Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern, Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust Trustee Kenneth L. Stein, and Central Park Conservancy Chair Ira M. Millstein and President Karen H. Putnam.
"I want to thank the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust and Kenneth Stein for the generous gift of $500,000 which has made possible the renovation of one of the most well-used and well-known features of Central Park - the Reservoir running track," Mayor Giuliani said. "This running track bears the pounding feet of about 5,000 runners and walkers a day, and is a scenic way for New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors while keeping fit. As we cut the ribbon for the renovated running track today, we also celebrate the spirit in which this donation has been made -- giving something back to the community, and making it a better place."
"I also want to thank the Uris Brothers Foundation which has pledged $2 million for the running track's maintenance," the Mayor continued. "And finally, I want to wish the more than 22,000 men and 9,400 women from all 50 states and from 110 countries good luck in the 29th annual New York City Marathon this Sunday. They will be running right past this running track on the last leg of their 26.2-mile journey through the City's five boroughs."
Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern said, "Just in time for the New York City Marathon, the 1.58-mile track that encompasses the historic Central Park Reservoir is now in great shape. And not only is the track now permanently endowed thanks to the Uris Brothers Foundation, but it will be further enhanced by the upcoming restoration of the landscapes that surround the track and the 136 year-old Reservoir."
Kenneth L. Stein, Trustee of the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust, said, "The Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust is pleased to have made the donation for the restoration of the Central Park Reservoir running track, which is the quintessential fitness spot for thousands of New York runners and walkers."
Central Park Conservancy Chair Ira M. Millstein said, "Gifts like the ones we have received from the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust and the Uris Brothers Foundation, combined with the City's management contract with the Central Park Conservancy, have turned the Park into a living symbol of New York City's revitalization."
Located between 86th and 96th Streets from the West to East Drives, the Reservoir's pedestrian path was first turned into a running track in 1982, and is one of the world's most unique running paths offering breathtaking views of the City's skyline. Funded entirely by the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust, the $500,000 restoration began in April and was executed in stages to avoid closing the track.
The new track provides a safer, more durable route for all Central Park users. With its completion, runners now have an erosion-resistant regraded, bluestone-covered track. In addition, a new drainage system was installed with catch basins to enable the track to keep its surfacing after rainfall. The rotted wooden edge was also replaced with 7,000 feet of fresh timber.
This completed renovation is one part of the City's ongoing efforts to enhance the northern section of Central Park. In May, the City began a $4.6 million reconstruction of the North Meadow ballfields. The Reservoir's surrounding areas, including its open meadows, plantings and fields will also be renovated with a generous $2.5 million grant from the Uris Brothers Foundation as part of a larger $10 million grant set up by the Foundation. This grant will also include a $2 million endowment to ensure the continued maintenance of the running track.
Established in 1976 from the estates of two sisters from the West Side, Goldie Shapiro and Anna Siegel, the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust funds small-scale projects that have an immediate, community-wide impact. Both sisters were clients of Greenfield Stein & Senior, where Trustee Kenneth L. Stein is currently a senior partner.
The Uris Brothers Foundation, established in 1956 by two brothers from New York City, Percy Uris and Harold D. Uris, funds human service and community development projects throughout New York City.