|Message from the Mayor and Commissioner||
|Putting Children First|
|Connecting People with the Waterfront|
|Greening New York|
|Rebuilding Neighborhood Parks|
|Funding our Initiatives|
|Friends of Parks|
|Download the report|
Rebuilding Neighborhood Parks
- In 2002 and 2003, park managers accompanied police captains on night tours to identify and address safety concerns in parks throughout the city.
- In 2004, we will construct a senior park in Staten Island, complete with benches, shade structures, and a tot lot for grandchildren.
- In 2002, we installed what may be the nation’s first grey water recycling system in a playground. Built in Seward Park with funds from the Department of Environmental Conservation, this system cleans water from the playground spray shower and reuses that water to irrigate the park’s gardens and trees.
NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS ARE THE HEART OF THIS CITY. We bring our children to playgrounds, spend quiet moments reading on shaded benches, we watch passers-by, we converse. Individual New Yorkers forge communities around shared public spaces, and communities impart to these spaces the unique flavor of their neighborhoods. Strong parks have strong communities, whose members become our most vocal, involved constituents. Most of our properties are neighborhood parks, and most of our resources are dedicated to their operation.
Local elected officials champion small park renovations. In Fiscal Year 2003, City Council Members allocated $79.2 million for capital projects, and Borough Presidents allocated $37.9 million. After a new concerted effort to encourage their support, state elected officials provided more than $8.2 million in grants. Our parks also received over $10.7 million in federal grants. Elected officials know that small park improvements can quickly make positive impacts on a neighborhood’s quality of life and property values.
In spring 2003, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation awarded us a $24.3 million grant to develop or renovate 13 parks in Lower Manhattan. Five months later, with the assistance of the City Department of Transportation, we cut the ribbon on Drumgoole Plaza. Pace University, adjacent to the plaza, partnered with us to maintain this new open space. We will deliver five more sites by April 2004.
Operation Relief, a new partner program of Operation Releaf, focuses on reactivating comfort stations and the water features that make neighborhood parks havens on hot summer days. Over the course of two years, we reconstructed or created 94 spray showers in playgrounds across the city. By fall 2003, 84 percent of park comfort stations were open during the summer, in contrast to 58 percent in 2001, and last summer 89 percent of our drinking fountains were flowing, compared to 81 percent the previous summer.
Partnerships for Parks, the community stewardship program managed with City Parks Foundation (CPF), engaged over 12,000 volunteers in 55,000 hours of service in 2003 and increased the percentage of parks with affiliated stewardship groups from 40 percent in 2001 to 50 percent in 2003. Partnerships also launched a four-year community development initiative centered on the parks of Astoria/Long Island City, Harlem, High Bridge, and Red Hook. For this project, CPF garnered $5 million from private supporters, including the Commonwealth Fund, the J.M. Kaplan Fund, and Starbucks Coffee. We anticipate an additional $20 million in capital project allocations for these parks.
We will invest more resources in local parks, building cricket pitches, skate parks, and synthetic turf fields to meet the changing neighborhood needs of New York.