The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are happy to announce that our October 2015 Friend of the Month is Jane Sokolow. Jane has been a friend of the organization since the beginning as an original board over member. Jane works as an independent consultant in community greening and zoning projects and interpretive science writing. She currently serves on the Friends’ Advisory Committee of the Board where she has provided valuable expertise to the Friends’ Executive Director and Board of Directors as needed. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are lucky to call Jane Sokolow a great friend.
How and when did you get involved with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park?
I was one of the original founding board members of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park in 1992. I was a Board member for 14 years. I remain involved and available to the Executive Director and staff as an advisor and resource.
What is one of our fondest memories of being on the Friends board?
My proudest accomplishment while serving on the Board is helping to secure much needed funds for the renovation of the Cross Country Course in the mid-1990s. At that time, the cross country trail was in desperate need of repair and this was the largest grant the Friends had secured at the time. (Editor’s Note: FVCP secured $249,150 from the NYS ISTEA Transportation Enhancement Program which was matched with funding from the Borough President’s Office for the reconstruction of the Cross Country Trail in the mid-1990’s.)
What is your favorite place in the Park?
I have several. Van Cortlandt Lake and the trails around the Lake, the Northeast Forest and Old Croton Aqueduct Trail and Vault Hill.
Parks just completed a Master Plan for the Park, what improvements would you like to see in Van Cortlandt Park in the next 20 years?
Now that the Pedestrian Bridge over the Major Deegan has been funded, I would like there to be a 10-20 year Master Plan implemented for the care, maintenance and replanting where needed of all the forested areas in the Park. In addition I would like the Parks Department to work more closely with the Friends to insure that all of the trails in the Park are maintained and improved and good signage is put up.