Get to Know New Staff: Spring 2024

Get to know the new staff members that have recently joined the Prospect Park Alliance team! Learn more about Maya, Malcolm, Matt, Fawn Michal, Danny, Oscar, David and Saul and keep an eye out to say hello throughout the park. 

Maya Bernstein, Seasonal Project Coordinator, Volunteer Services

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time I enjoy going on runs or hiking when I can get out of the city.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite book is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I am most looking forward to getting to know the wonderful volunteers and what they enjoy most about the park.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

I like the lake because I love how in the summer there are a lot of turtles and birds along the shore.

Malcolm Gore, Arborist, LMO

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

I play Dungeons and Dragons in my free time with friends and family. It is a great escape!

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite TV show is Avatar the Last Airbender, the animated version.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

Getting to know all the people who make this place hum and learning to identify birds by their songs.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

My favorite spot in the park is Lookout Hill. Especially for winter sunsets. 

Matt Hall, Accounts Payable + Payroll Specialist, D+C

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

I like to cook, go to concerts, and ride my bike in my free time.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite movie is Casablanca, my favorite book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I look forward to improving and preserving Brooklyn’s Backyard!

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

I enjoy birdwatching by the lake.

Fawn Hayes, Accounts Payable + Payroll Specialist, Finance

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

I enjoy pool, bowling and mini golf.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite band is Black Veil Brides.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

Learning the names and faces of all the amazing PPA staff. I’m on my way! 

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

Roller skating, although my coordination isn’t what it used to be – and picnicking. 

Michal Naumowicz, Facilities Maintainer, Facilities Maintenance 

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

When I can fit the time, I love to kayak at midnight on a clear night on the ocean or lake, with one caveat: no life jacket. 

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

Hands down, my absolute favorite song is Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day by Luke Bryan. 

For books, favorite genres mostly center on philosophical fiction, such as Brothers Karamazov by F. Dostoyevsky.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I have a deeply rooted passion for the outdoors, and being able to dedicate myself to enhancing visitors’ and neighbors’ experiences, while also playing a part in conserving this park.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

Exploring the vast network of trails with my doggo.

Danny Molinaro, Landscape Manager, LMO

What is something youlike to do in your free time? 

In my free time I enjoy exploring my local city parks which often includes walking and biking along the Hudson River.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

One of my favorite musicians is Tom Petty, which my father used to listen to often when I was younger.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I’m looking forward to helping guide staff in ecological initiatives across the park and especially support the restoration of our Natural Areas.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

When it comes to spending time in Prospect Park, I’ve enjoyed picnics with friends in the Long Meadow which usually would end with strolling through forested areas like the Ravine. 

Oscar Psychas, Seasonal Project Coordinator, Volunteer Services

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

I like to watch TV shows. Some of my favorites are How to with John Wilson and High Maintenance, both filmed in NYC. 

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite film at the moment is Origin, directed by Ava DuVernay, and my favorite book at the moment is Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I am passionate about creating accessible park stewardship experiences, not just as a means to restore ecosystems but also to restore our own relationships of reciprocity and care for our larger human and non-human community.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

I enjoy getting lost in forest trails, ID’ing native plants, sunset-people-and-dog watching on the Long Meadow, and I’m starting to learn birding.

David Rabig, Carousel Operation Manager, Concessions 

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

In my free time I love being at the beach, cooking, hiking and birding.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

I have a favorite comedian, his name is Paul F. Tompkins.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?  

I most look forward to seeing families and children enjoying the Carousel, and telling people I work for the Prospect Park Alliance.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

My favorite place in the park is the Rustic Shelter on the Lullwater.

Saul Tapia, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Volunteers

What is something you like to do in your free time? 

I like to take care of my house plants and find new ways to propagate them.

Do you have a favorite song/band/musician or movie/tv show or book? 

My favorite movie has to be Stardust 2007. It’s a beautiful rom-com fantasy that I enjoy rewatching every time.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role? 

I’m looking forward to exploring the park as the high season approaches.

Do you have any favorite places or activities you like to do in Prospect Park? 

My favorite activity in Prospect Park is to have small picnics on the lawns.