Thursday, December 19, 2013

First snow of the season in Isham Park

On December 10th, the first snow of the season in Isham Park seemed early.  The moisture is very welcome and the park always looks great in the snow.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for all in 2014!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thank you to those came out for the Fall 2013 "It's My Park Day" in Isham Park

Happy Halloween!
Today we finally had a few drops of rain for the 1st time in weeks...tomorrow more is predicted but it will not be nearly enough!

Thank you to everyone who planted bulbs with us on October 19th for It's My Park Day in Isham Park!

Special thanks to the Fordham University Circle K team of five unstop-able helpers!  You were great!  

We were so happy to have the Friends of Indian Road Playground mothers & children who joined us for bulb planting!

Hoping we see a host of Daffodils & some Tulips along Park Terrace West next spring!!

Special thank you to Dorothy Rowan, Parks Gardener, NYC Parks staff who delivered a truck load of mulch, Partnerships for Parks who gave us Tulip and other bulbs, and New Yorkers for Parks who gave us Daffodils, all of which contributed to the park and the VIP event that day.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

VIP Work Day schedule revised; next is Saturday October 12th

Please note: there will be no VIP work day this weekend, October 5th and 6th.
Next weekend, VIP will be out on Saturday October 12th to prepare for bulb planting on the following Saturday October 19th It's My Park day in Isham Park.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The memorial terrace in Isham Park

October 31, 2010, the newly planted memorial garden.
Early September 2013, bronze plaque is centered in the facing wall.

On October 31, 2010, a group of volunteers gathered at the memorial terrace in Isham Park.  With help from NYC Parks gardener Dorothy Rowan, we planted a small border garden along the western edge of the terrace.   This was done to call attention to and reinforce the memorial, as it is a subtle design in which a bronze plaque listing the gifts of land from the Isham family that created the park is placed low in the eastern wall and can be easily overlooked by those passing by or even stopping to rest or enjoy the park.

Last fall on September 29, 2012, the neighborhood celebrated the centennial of Isham Park.  This Sunday, September 29, 2013, VIP plans work in the memorial terrace garden and surrounding pathways.  Please come out to join us!  And thank you very much to the many volunteers who have worked in Isham Park and the memorial garden over the past thee years...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fall work days in Isham Park

Diagonal steps during trash pick up, weeding and sweeping


Last Sunday, September 15th, VIP began a regular fall work day schedule which will continue on Sunday mornings from 9am to 12 noon/1pm from this Sunday the 22nd of September to Sunday October 20th, It's My Park Day.  Please note that this will be in advance of and in preparation for bulb planting on IMPD.  

Last Sunday's effort focused on picking up trash, weeding, and cleaning the diagonal steps between Park Terrace West and Seaman Avenue. 

Please come join us for fall work days in Isham Park!  For details on work location or any other questions, email:

Monday, June 24, 2013

Echinacea! Blooming in Isham Park

The Echinacea, Sedum, and other plants purchased by VIP last spring in conjunction with Dyckman Farmhouse Museum are finally mature and blooming after the heavy rains in late May and June.

Monday, May 20, 2013

VIPs had perfect planting weather for It's My Park Day with steady rain afterwards, enabling planting!

Gretchen, Kristine, and Kate weeding and planting on IMPD;
Gilda's orange jacket is barely visible at left of the circle.
On Saturday May 18th, the weather was partly cloudy to cloudy with rain predicted for several days afterwards, enabling planting to become a major focus of activities for VIPs.

The group included veteran Volunteers mixed with new comers.

First, the edge of the memorial bed was re-cut more deeply to define it against the lawn.

Then as plants donated by the Partnerships for Parks were added mostly to the more open outer edge, Daffodil bulbs were thinned from the eastern edge and transferred to the lower tier bed of the memorial.

Jenni and Kate discussing bulbs; Jeff and Michael edging the bed.
The bed encircling the benches has matured since its recreation by VIPs in the fall of 2010.  Some plants fell victim to drought or trampling over the years while others have thrived, but the resulting mix works to help define the memorial to the Isham family.

The lower tier bed has been more challenging to plant effectively, but by allowing native plants like Violets and New York Asters to self plant ("volunteers!") along with bulbs and Hostas, we hope to define the area with green for now.  Sadly one of the four great Beech trees - planted in the lower tier bed when the memorial was created - has been lost to storms and age, while another was broken in half during Hurricane Sandy.   Newly sunlit areas are rapidly becoming green. Gilda has worked tirelessly in the area surrounding the lower tier.
She could use more help!

In June, Volunteers for Isham Park will be four years old.  We have learned over those years how much work the park really requires on a constant basis.

The last IMPD volunteer appeared near the end of the day. Jonathan, who grew up at 10 Park Terrace East leaving in 1961 when he was 19 years old, attended the Centennial last fall.  He returned for IMPD to plant Begonias, describe the layout of the plantings in Isham when he was a boy, and to receive, as did all of the Volunteers, an Isham Park Centennial pin!

Jonathan potographing his Begonia planting.
Jenni was also back! with Michael and Buster, who are not shown here in any photo.  She is re-energized after the long break from our last summer's work on each weekday during June and July leading up to the Centennial.Her energy is just what is needed in the park on an ongoing basis!  She first volunteered on IMPD in May 2012.

Jenni on IMPD Saturday May 18th 2013.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"It's My Park Day" activities in Isham Park

- It's My Park Day - 
Saturday May 18th

9:00am to 1:00pm 
Location: Memorial Terrace, surrounding paths and plantings above Broadway @ West 212th Street

Pin made in 1912  
- Recently produced Isham Park Centennial pins - based on the historic 1912 Celebration novelty pin worn to last fall's event on September 29th by Isham family member Carol Collins Malone - will be distributed!

- VIPs plan weeding and cleaning of the Memorial and the Ginkgo upper slope plantings, plus the swale or stone drain, paths and steps.

- Plantings will be added if the weather cooperates with a little moisture by the 18th!
- Note: Please wear a hat, long pants & long sleeved shirt with boots or closed shoes!  Gloves, refuse bags, & tools will be provided

For More Information:


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Saturday April 20th come out to work in Isham Park on Earth Day weekend!

- Spring Work Day -
 Earth Day weekend 
Note: Please wear a hat, long pants & long sleeved shirt 
with boots or closed shoes!
Gloves, refuse bags, & tools will be provided

Please come out and participate!
WHO:             - Volunteers for Isham Park, adults & older children 
                        - NYC Parks & Recreation Gardener  

WHEN:           Saturday April 20th 2013
                          9:00am to 1:00pm

WHERE:       Corner of Isham Street & Seaman Avenue

Work Site:     Isham Park along the base of the south slope along the entrance path & the slope between Park Terrace West and Seaman Avenue,

Activities:       Collection of tree debris from hurricane Sandy & lawn repairs

For More Information:
Or google the blog: “Volunteers for Isham Park”

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Palisades support

Recent support expressed for the Palisades on the Hudson River:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Views from Isham and Inwood Hill Park

Archives of the NYC Department of Parks
In 1911, Julia Isham Taylor was inspired to give land for Isham Park in part by its view sheds of the surrounding area.

The most significant in her day was the view to the west to the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades beyond.  At that time, the view to the east across the Harlem River also had beautiful new buildings, among them the Gould Memorial Library and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans designed by architect Stanford White.

Recently both views have been in the news.

While the issues outlined in the articles linked below regarding views west to the New Jersey Palisades may not directly effect the view from Isham Park today, they demonstrate the importance of such views especially for Ft. Tryon, the Cloisters, Wave Hill, and even Inwood Hill Park. 

Two articles regarding the view shed from Cloisters to NJ Palisades:

Meanwhile, the buildings to the east by Stanford White which are today part of the campus of CUNY's Bronx Community College, were recently designated a National Historic Landmark.  The College is the first community college so honored in our country; the effort to designate was lead by the new BCC President, Carole M. Berotte Joseph.  

Bronx Community College designation of Hall of Fame and Gould Memorial Library:

Please have a look at these two news items and consider them in light of Julia Isham Taylor and her aunt Flora E. Isham's gifts of land, which were originally celebrated on September 28, 1912.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hoping this will be the year in which water service is restored to Isham Park!  A nice symbol of renewal in this the park's 101st year!

Today's New York Times cover is dominated by a weather report on 2012 and intense heat and drought. Yesterday, noticed that the hellebores in the Margin Garden along Park Terrace West were budding. Though it may seem that global warming has encouraged the process, hellebores live through winter and are said to bud as early as January in our area.

For more on the budding of these hardy plants and their very beautiful blooms go to: