Last year the Parks Department asked for mascot submissions, noting that designs like Nutty the Squirrel, Hudson the Hawk, or Parker the Leaf were all acceptable... as long as the design on paper could be transferred easily to an adult-size costume. So what did New York's creative masses come up with: Pearl the Squirrel!

Pearl was created by cartoonist Adam Koford who works for Disney and doesn't even hail from New York (his entry came all the way from Salt Lake City). Parks commish Adrian Benepe says while Koford won't receive a prize for his hard work, he will get the "glory of having come up with the official mascot."

The department received over 150 entries, according to the NY Post, and Pearl will be officially introduced and unveiled Saturday in Thomas Jefferson Park (1st Avenue at 111th Street)... but here's a little look at the city's newest furry friend. We're trying to get our hands on some of the rejects, but in the meantime, what do you think of the winner?