The White Plains Examiner

White Plains Considers Renaming Greenway After Jack Harrington

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Jack Harrington
Jack Harrington

On July 9, the City of White Plains Memorialization Committee and a few neighborhood association representatives gathered in the Mayor’s Conference Room at City Hall to review a proposal for the renaming of The White Plains Greenway. The proposition, which the committee decided to push for review by the Recreational Advisory Committee, involved honoring community member Jack Harrington for his contributions to the Greenway as well as the City of White Plains.

The White Plains Greenway, a walking trail, has been part of the city since 1939, when a major railroad line had to be dismantled for the war effort. Nearly two miles long, the trail runs through White Plains and the White Plains/Scarsdale border. With its woodchip surface, the Greenway was dedicated as parkland by the city on February 5, 1996 and serves as a nature trail and public recreational area.

Fondly referred to as “Father of the Greenway” Harrington was instrumental in obtaining parkland status for the trail. Harrington was born in 1919 in Oswego, in upstate New York. Since coming to White Plains he’s been a key figure in the city’s development; he’s the former president of the White Plains Historical Society, was co-founder of the White Plains Greenway Committee, served on the White Plains Conservation Board, chaired the White Plains Comprehensive Plan Committee and was on the White Plains School District Annual Budget Committee. His contributions as an activist and preservationist have been credited with improving the quality of life for city residents.

The Recreational Advisory Committee gathered for a special meeting on July 31 to consider the proposal. Besides coming to a decision to push the proposal to the final step, the committee also recommended creating a plaque, bench, or tree to acknowledge the other individuals that have made contributions to the White Plains Greenway.

“Jack was so involved in so many other civic endeavors and contributions to the city of White Plains that that would be the reason that I would believe that he should be bestowed the honor [of having the Greenway named after him]. At the same time, we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings,” by leaving anyone out, a Recreational Advisory Committee member stated.

The final step of deliberation for the proposal is review by the Common Council, which will make the final decision. The name endorsed in the proposal is “White Plains Jack Harrington Greenway.”

John Martin, chairman of the Memorialization Committee – established in 1976 to consider naming different facilities – as well as the Recreational Advisory Committee, said, “The proposal has already passed the first two steps in the renaming process. Aside from making the final decision, the Common Council can make changes to the proposal as they see fit.”

No date has been set for the council’s vote.

By Maria Veronica Roman

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