BUCKINGHAM POND PARKDEPLORABLE CONDITIONTook a walk through the park yesterdaywith Mick.The dead tree overhanging the footpathLenox at pond, South side, is still thereendangering any walkers or joggers whoventure down the path in windy weather.Litter everywhere along the southern andwestern margins of the park. Vines andunderbrush strangling young trees.The useless drain pipe at the Milner Avefoot bridge remains upended.Footpaths are wet and slippery, particularlyat the pond East end, and South side, becausethe City did not apply coarse bluestone topromote better drainage and safer footing.Signs posted on trees, North side of pondinvite skaters to make use of the clearedice surfaces. Observe the ice is not safefor skating!Fear not, because the Buckingham PondConservancy Steering Committee is on thejob - holding a meeting 2 pm, SundayJanuary 31 to provide an update on thefledgling group's achievents in 2009, toadopt by laws and elect officers and aboard of directors.http://buckinghampondconservancy.org/The group alleges to be non-partisanwhen the organizers are not - they hadCorey Ellis signs on their lawns and carsand opposed Mayor Jennings for reelection.They also by-passed the existing BuckinghamPond/Crestwood Neighborhood Associationwhich is responsible for rezoning the pondand shoreline Land Conservation (park land)in 1994, and for working with Mayor Jenningsto achieve many pond park improvementsin subsequent years, including the new lightingand improvements on the Milner Ave footpathand bridge, and working with the APD to ridthe pond park of underage drinking parties anddrug dealers.Moves which compromise the ability ofthe Buckingham Pond Conservancy toeffectively achieve it's professed pupose"To coordinate ...protecting, preservingand enhancing Buckingham Pond and it'ssurrounding greenspace."...in cooperationwith governmental agencies... neighborhood associations"(click on proposed by laws linkgo to Mission and Purpose.)Support the opponent of the Mayor andby pass the existing Buckingham PondCrestwood Neighborhood Association -two strikes!Strike 3 comes with the Membershipprovision which restricts "NeighborhoodMember" to "Each adult resident withinone half mile (0.5 mi) of the pond" whileproviding that a "Voting Member" shallbe any adult (18+) who contributes dues"in a given fiscal year. Fiscal years begineach April 1.These provisions exclude the residentsof the Crestwood sector of the neighborhoodand are contrary to the practices of theexisting Buckingham Pond/Crestwood NAwhere no dues are charged and all neighborhood residents may participate in the association.In addition, the half mile geographicprovision for "Neighborhood Member"completely disregards the establishedWestern and Eastern boundaries of theBuckingham Pond/Crestwood NA whichhave been in place for more than 22 yearsthereby allowing residents and membersof other neighborhood associations andneighborhoods, who pay dues, to makedecisions that impact residents of thisneghborhood. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE.The four conservancy working groupsare entirely unnecessary and thedescriptions of their responsibilities aremuddled, redundant and conflicting.We only need ONE Buckingham PondCommittee of this Neighborhood Association.If residents sincerely desire to protectand improve the pond park, they canvolunteer to serve on this Associationcommittee.There is no need to reinvent the wheel.Review the postings on this site overthe years which present needed actionspertaining to the pond park.For example:
Friday, November 27, 2009
BUCKINGHAM POND PARK REPORT NOVEMBER 27, 2009
To begin: there is a high wind warningposted four our area
So?There are a number of dead, ordecaying trees and tree limbs
overhanging the paths posing a hazard to walkers, their pets and
joggers.Most notably, the South side of the pond park:
1. a large dead tree over the path at the foot of Lenox,
2. another dead tree leaningtoward the footpath at the foot of Lenox,
3. several overhanging the wooded footpath from Lenox to Holmes Dale
in particular one at the HolmesDale entrance to the footpath
4. several overhanding, or liable to fall across the footpath from
Holmes Dale to Milner Ave.This is not a new condition. Scroll back
to earlierpark reports on this site, and you will read numerous posts
calling attention to this. Also, complete agendas of what improvements
and remedial actions are needed in Buckingham Pond Park.
Mick, Paddy and me took a traverse around the pond park, today, and
observed the above conditions , as well as others ,that need attention.
1. The dangerous, dead trees and limbs, noted above need immediate
attention by the City of Albany.
2. So do the footpaths, which become slippery when wet, posingfall
hazards to those who usethe paths.This, too, is a job for the City of
Albany.Crushed coarse, bluestone needs to be trucked in and spread over the footpaths.Particularly slippery sections are found at the pond East end, the
pond, South side and pond North side.This problem as been posted, again
and again on this site this year and last.In response, the City did attempt to
rectify theslip hazard butspread the wrong material - powdered gravel
which only worsened the hazard.
3. The wooded areas of the pond park particularly the South and West
sections, need to have active management which promotes the long term
health of those wooded areas. a) cut, remove vines strangling trees
b) remove dead trees and limbs thatpose a hazard
c) cut the brush around young trees so that they may mature - particularly
the young Hemlocks and other conifers, pond park South side between
Colonial and Milner.
4. Repositioning the drain pipe that runs into the small holding pond at the
Milner Ave footbridge.Observe end of the drain pipe is elevated upward so
that it is useless, except for collecting rainfall.
5. The childrens play area, North side, needs protection of a metal guard rail
or row of large rocks to prevent out of control, speeding vehicles on Berkshire
from crashing into the play area.
6. The pond shoreline needs to be stabilized through a program of planting
trees and bushes that thrive in wet conditions, while stabilizing the banks.
These include Willows, Red Osier Dogwoods, and others.
See past pond park posts this site for the last several years.
7. The park picnic tables need to be properly preserved and maintained.
The City of Albany has the ability and obligation to make the above
improvements to the pond park.
Residents of this neighborhood payhigher property taxes than many
Downtown neighborhoods, while we receive less than our fair share of police
presence to deter crime control speeding traffic, etc.
Buckingham Pond Park receives much less attention than Washington and
Lincoln Parks. As long as residents do not press the city for more police
presence and more improvementsto Buckingham Pond Park- expect little
or no change.
Call Mayor Jennings on his weeklyFriday Radio show b9-10 am, WDGJ
1300 AM - call in line # 476 1300. That will get results you need regarding
the above and any other neighborhood concerns you may have.
Now, with hard times here, citizens have to be expected to pitch in and help.
All neighborhood residents have been drafted into our neighborhood watch
insructed to call the APD,and/or NYS Anti Terror Hotline, when they spot
suspicious individuals, groups and behaviors.
See earlier posts for those telephone numbers.Residents around the pond
with a view of the pond ,particularly the parking lot at the footof Colonial
North side, have the responsibility of calling the APD when they see people
dumping household and other trash in park barrels ,see people feeding the ducks/geese ,vandalizing the park, littering or engaging in drug trades.
The newly formed Buckingham Pond Conservancy which purports to be
"working for the future of a small pond and a few acres of land"
and lists a steering committee of a dozen neighborhood residents has to get
Here are some tasks to work on:
1. Rake the leaves off the footpaths,pond South side Lenox to Milner.
Leaves are slippery and harbor ticks which pose a health hazard to
people and pets.
2. Rake the leaves off the grassy section at Milner Ave, South side.
The leaves will only kill the grass.They also harbor ticks.
3. Place stakes with bright orange ribbon marking slippery spots on
footpaths that require coarse ,crushed bluestone application by the City.
4. Place bright orange ribbons on trees and limbs that pose hazards over
5. Place bright orange ribbons on vines that are strangling trees
preventing them from maturing or killing them.
6. Find the useless upended drain pipe and mark it with a stake
and orange ribbon.
7. Read and download, all the prior posts on this site for the past
several years which identify pond park problems and present detailed
There is no need for the Conservancy to reinvent the wheel - that is
if participants are really sincere in their stated objective.
Just get to work and follow through on what has already been presented
on this site.
posted by J P Sullivan 10:52 AM
Friday, March 27, 2009
PLANT A TREE/SHRUB THIS SPRING
The City of Albany Spring Tree ProgramOrder dead line is
Tues, Mar 31.http://albanyny.gov/_files/Tree%20Planting%202009%20-%204%20page.pdf
The Albany SWCD Tree/Shrub sale order deadline was: March 20.
However, it maystill be possible to order stock by calling765-7923.
The newly forming Buckingham Pond Conservancy group missed an
opportunityto get reasonably priced tree/shrub stock that could improve
the pond park's visual beauty, stabilize bank erosion and offer food and
shelter for wildlife.
Trees: Black Alder, Hybrid Poplar, Canaan Firand Sycamore.
Shrubs: Silky Dogwood.Pond Habitat Conservation Pacs including
2 each of: Red Osier Dogwood/ButtonbushNinebark/Sycamore/Black
Flowering T&S Pacs including 2 each of American Mtn Ash/Juneberry/
Spicebush,Sand Cherry/White Flowering Dogwood.
However, all is not lost, there are 2 other SWCD T&S sales still available.
Schenectady County 399-6980. Order deadline: April 17.
Stock included: Burning Bush/LilacRose of Sharon, White Flowering
Dogwood,Witch Hazel and Spicebush.
Rensselaer County 271-1740. Order deadline; April 30.Stock included:
Austrian Pine, Pagoda Flowering Dogwood, Rugosa Rose, LilacWinter
Berry Holly, Rose of Sharon, America Cranberry and Manchu Cherry.
Any and all of the above would be welcome additions to the pond park
as well a neighborhood yards. Obtaining and planting the above would
be of much more long term benefit to improving the pond park, than th
e trash/litter clean up which the Conservancy group has scheduled for
The neighborhood association does notsponsor clean ups because of the
posted by J P SullivanNone of the organizers of the "conservancy"have been active on the Association PondPark Committee since 1994.Their motives for creating this"conservancy" must be questioned.I have not been invited to any meetingsof the "conservancy" group, but am readyand willing to address them.I invite any participants in this groupas well as any interested neighborhoodresidents to volunteer for a single pondpark committee under the auspices ofthe Buckingham Pond/CrestwoodNeighborhood Association..Our Association boundaries are:Western Ave (N), S Manning Blvd (E)NYS Thruway (S) and Rte 85 (W).Buckingham Pond Park is the centerpiece of our Neighborhood Association.Participation in the establishedBuckingham Pond/Crestwood NA willbest further the maintenance andimprovement of Buckingham PondPark.We have several other committeesto serve on, including:1. Neighborhood Security2. Emergency/Disaster Preparedness3. Traffic/Pedestrian SafetyWe have accomplished much tobenefit the neighborhood in past years:
ABOUT THE ASSOCIATIONHISTORY
The Buckingham Pond/Crestwood Neighborhood Association
(BPCNA) was established in the mid-1980's.
Joseph P Sullivan organized the Association and has served
continuously as President.
BPCNA Boundaries: (N) Western Ave, (E) South Manning Blvd
(S) NYS TW (Whitehall Road)(W) Rte 85
(1) To protect, maintain and improve the residential integrity,
environment and quality of life in thisneighborhood
(2) To interact with city, county, state and federal governments
public and private schools/collegeschurches, synagogues, and
neighborhood businesses to achieve the above goals.
(3) To interact , and cooperate, with other neighborhood groups,
regarding issues of mutual concern.
are many. Just a few include:
Rezoning Albany Muni Golf Course and Buckingham Pond/shore
as Land Conservation (Park Land) in 1994.
Defeat of two attempts to site a big box store Krum Kill Rd at
New Scotland Ave(1999-2000).
DEC clean up of Boopsie Brownfield site, corner of Whitehall Rd
and New Scotland Ave,( 1997-98).
Defeat of two attempts to site a third middle school in the
Restoration of Crestwood Plaza as a neighborhood retail-service
Creation of Conifer tree buffer and 1 acre greenspace at
Buckingham Mews NE corner of New Scotland Ave and Krum Kill Rd
and green space at SW corner of South Manning Blvd and
New Scotland Ave (1980's).
Defeat of two attempts to rezone residential dwelling ,NW corner
of South Manning Blvd and New Scotland Ave ,as commercial (1995-96)
Defeat of two attempts to site a 100 ft cell phone tower in an R-1B
residential zoned neighborhood on Whitehall Rd (2004-2005).
Defeat of proposed 12 story apartment tower and parking garage
on 7.5 acre wooded parcel,containing 2 small wetlands and a tributary
of the Normans Kill,located on Krum Kill Rd (2004).We will better serve our neighborhoodby being united, rather than divided andworking a cross purposes.In invite all neighborhood residents toparticipate in your neighborhood association.It works, when you do!Thank you.Joe SullivanBPCNA PresidentTel/Fax 438 5230
Labels: Buckingham Pond Park