A Response From the Big Apple…

Bob Sickler, who always blows me away with this ability to write such great letters, received a response from the mayor’s office in New York with regards to the Task Force’s effort to open more parks.

I share his email response here and wonder how many others received one. My guess is not too many.

If you want to read Bob’s initial letter to the mayor you will find it in the comments section in the above link.

From: “Zingale, Deborah (Parks)” Deborah.Zingale@parks.nyc.gov
To: “‘rhsdesign@webjogger.net'” rhsdesign@webjogger.net
Sent: 8/18/2014 5:07:25 PM
Subject: Your Correspondence to Mayor de Blasio

This email was sent on behalf of Michael Dockett, Assistant Commissioner, Urban Park Service

Dear Mr. Sickler:

Thank you for your letter to Mayor de Blasio regarding metal detecting in City parks. The Mayor asked Parks to respond.

I was concerned by your statement that Parks’ rules governing metal detecting are discriminatory. Our regulations regarding metal detecting are an appropriate exercise of the Agency’s responsibility to protect and preserve parkland.

Parks Rules at Section 1-04(b) (5) specifically state “No person shall use a metal detector in any park, except in unvegetated beach areas. Use of metal detectors in other park areas will be permitted if the prior written consent of the Commissioner is obtained.” The rule clearly provides for the Commissioner’s discretion in establishing access for metal detecting in city parks.  Likewise, there are established rules that govern most activities in parks — including dog-walking, swimming, barbecuing, bicycling, flying model planes, skateboarding, and ice-skating, among others — which similarly grant the Commissioner discretion in establishing access.

In selecting parks appropriate for metal detecting our agency has worked with horticulturalists, arborists, environmentalists and other organizations such as the Landmark Preservation Commission in effort to balance the concerns of the metal detecting community with our responsibility to conserve and maintain New York City’s parkland.

Over the past ten years, we have met periodically with representatives of the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights to discuss proposed detecting sites and guidelines governing documentation of “finds.” Throughout this time, parks have been added and removed from the list of suitable metal detecting sites for various reasons including replanting needs, turf replacement, capital work, storm/extreme weather damage or other ecological concerns.

Our most recent meeting with representatives from the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights took place on July 23, 2014, to discuss their concerns regarding the status of metal detecting in various city parks, and the possibility of opening additional parks to metal detecting. Pursuant to that meeting a review of the parks where the activity is currently not allowed is underway. We appreciate your patience during this process.

We understand the desire of metal detectorists to be able to pursue their activity unencumbered by regulations or restrictions. However, it is practical, prudent, and necessary that everyone who visits and uses parks cooperate in preserving and protecting these precious green spaces for all visitors — present and future.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your support and patronage.


Michael Dockett

Assistant Commissioner

Urban Park Service

NYC Parks
Arsenal North

1234 Fifth Avenue, Room 225
New York, NY 10029


Thanks Bob for sharing this and for always taking the time to fight city hall when needed.  For more information on the NYC parks situation go to the Task Force for Metal Detecting website.



Just received a video from the one and only Andrew Whittaker, a wacky British friend of mine who always seems to have a little too much time on his hands. It’s necessary to show his first one so that the second makes more sense.

Andrew’s premier video from March of this year…

And now his latest…



 The video speaks for itself….



“In spite of the cost of living, it’s still popular.” ~Kathy Norris





Filed under Metal Detecting

14 responses to “A Response From the Big Apple…

  1. BigTony

    Dick, I too received the same exact letter about three or four days ago. I wonder if others have the same one?
    I understand that the Task Force was supposed to get a followup to the July meeting in two weeks but so far even with daily calls to Parks they have not responded.

  2. Andrew whittaker

    Haha, that man sure is crazy

  3. I received the same letter from them last week.
    Need I say more?

  4. http://detectingrights.com/outcome-of-july-23rd-2014-meeting-with-nyc-parks/

    The outcome of that meeting was posted on the Task Forces web site (above). NYC Parks was supposed to get back to Harold Lowenfels, the Task Force’s liaison to NYC Parks. I don’t think that has happened yet, however, I will make another inquiry. When I know, you will know.

  5. Bob Sickler

    Hi Everyone….This was my response to the above letter…

    Dear Ms. Zingale / Mr.Dockett,

    I too am completely in favor of promoting and protecting public use of public lands and thus why I wrote originally. To address your concern… If metal detecting requires a written permit and any of the named recreations below in your response do not, this in my opinion is considered discriminatory. Making any one park off limits to metal detecting while allowing other recreations to continue at the location is also discriminatory. That said, I am in favor of a permit system for all recreations using public lands because, in all forms of recreation, there are irresponsible people practicing them. The recreation itself is not generally irresponsible.

    I applaud your willingness to work with any organization protecting an individual’s right to use a metal detector on public land. You will find we are a large and growing entity across the country whose sole purpose is to enjoy ourselves, whether it be enjoying the outdoors, preserving our health, discovering our history, or paying for the next outing’s batteries with a few coins found.

    Thank you for your continued attention,

    Robert H. Sickler

  6. Big Tony from Bayonne

    My reply was:
    Hello Deborah,

    Thanks for finally getting back to me regarding “freedom to metal detect in all NYC parks and without limitations!

    Let me point out to you since you are unaware – all metal detecting folks remove any junk items and discard them in the trash or a recycle bin. I am unaware of any other groups that have this as one of their “Code of Ethics” .
    So, yes we want to preserve and protect our precious green spaces and we do!

    Thanks again A. Conti

  7. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Oh you figured me out – I asked her to come out to a park for some metal detecting!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.