Portia Dyrenforth, Park Administrator
by Benjamin Fang
Sep 26, 2018 | 8044 views | 0 0 comments | 719 719 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Portia Dyrenforth hasn’t stopped smiling since she became the administrator for both Forest and Highland parks, which straddle the Queens and Brooklyn border.

“They’re both such beautiful parks,” Dyrenforth said. “I was just enchanted.”

The veteran Parks Department staffer said she loves the different features in the parks, including the Oak Ridge building, golf course, historic carousel, tennis courts and Ridgewood Reservoir.

“My job is promoting the beauty and benefits of it to the neighborhoods of New York City,” she said.

Dyrenforth began her career with NYC Parks 18 years ago as a requirements coordinator. She eventually moved up to be the director of capital projects, managing a nearly $200 million budget.

She oversaw her “dream project,” the reconstruction of the McCarren Pool in Brooklyn. She then became the administrator for Crotona Park in the Bronx and the Rockaway administrator, leading the rebuilding of the boardwalk after Hurricane Sandy.

She will lean on those past experiences in her new role, which includes working with elected officials, community boards and local stakeholders. Dyrenforth will also work closely with the Forest Park Trust.

“I see the role as making the parks the best they can be,” she said, “Making them attractive, beautiful and equitable to all who visit the park.”

Dyrenforth said there are already $30 million worth of capital projects planned for the two parks. She added that she’s open to creative new ideas from the community to make the parks better for everyone.

One of her challenges will be making sure both Forest and Highland parks are safe and comfortable. That can be tough because of their uses as popular venues.

But Dyrenforth said she’s looking forward to working with the community to achieve her goals.

“Enjoy the lushness and the beauty of both parks,” she said.
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