The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation introduced “Pearl” (a cartoon squirrel) as its mascot in an April 2010 event. There was a contest, but the Parks Department went with the work of Adam Koford, a professional illustrator, who did not receive the contest’s cash prize.
New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Meet the Parks Mascot
The Parks Department is pleased to introduce our new mascot… drum roll… It’s Pearl the Squirrel! Pearl loves exploring the natural wonders of New York City’s parkland.
About the Illustrator
Adam Koford is an improbably prolific cartoonist who has been involved in several projects, including “700 Hoboes” and “Conan vs. Bear.” He has a webcomic entitled the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, a collection of which is available from Abrams ComicArts.; Adam works for Disney Interactive in Salt Lake City, Utah and is a regular contributor to Drawn.ca.
New York (NY) Post
City’s top squirrel
By TODD VENEZIA
Posted: 3:32 AM, April 15, 2010
A squirrel named Pearl is about to be come the new mascot of the city Parks Department.
Pearl was chosen over some 150 other en tries in a contest the Parks Department held last year, and will be unveiled Saturday in Thomas Jefferson Park at First Avenue at 111th Street.
Pearl was created by cartoon ist Adam Koford, who works for Disney Interactive’s Ava lanche Studios in Salt Lake City, Utah, who won’t receive a cash prize.
New York (NY) Times
April 16, 2010, 6:54 pm
Park Guide Is Equally Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed
By ANDY NEWMAN
Ladies, gentlemen and park users of all ages, meet Pearl. She’ll be your cartoon squirrel.
Pearl, the product of a year-long public contest and design process, is the New York City Parks and Recreation Department’s first official mascot (Henry Stern’s golden retriever, Boomer, who often played the role, was never formally designated).
Though Pearl’s official biography claims that she was born in Van Cortlandt Park, she was actually conceived and executed by Adam Koford, an illustrator and cartoonist who lives in Utah and works for Disney Interactive there. She began life as Curtis the Squirrel, but switched genders at the suggestion of, depending on whom you ask, either parks staff members or Mr. Koford’s 8-year-old son, Damon.