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Community Parks Initiative

The Community Parks Initiative is a multi-faceted investment in the smaller public parks that are located in New York City's densely populated and growing neighborhoods where there are higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. The Community Parks Initiative is NYC Parks' first major equity initiative. It will invest $130 million capital dollars and also bring enhanced programming, maintenance, and community partnership building to community parks serving high-need communities. The initiative will engage New Yorkers in rebuilding local parks, create new reasons to get out and get fit, and reconnect communities to the green spaces right outside their doorsteps.

How it Works

  • The initiative targets 55 neighborhoods in the five boroughs
  • Capital projects will rebuild 35 community parks
  • $130 million in capital dollars will be targeted to densely populated, growing, and lower-income communities, and leverages almost $20 million in funds from local elected officials and grants
  • Capital projects will be supported by community outreach coordinators
  • More than 70 new seasonal recreational programming and maintenance staff will activate and improve parks in all Community Parks Initiative communities
  • Parks will create immediate results with targeted physical improvement projects at 55 parks
  • Partnering with the Department of Environmental Protection, Parks will introduce more resilient park design to Community Parks Initiative communities

Community Parks Initiative projects are based on the foundations of good park development: smartly planned capital investment, great recreational programming, strong community and citywide partnerships, and efficient maintenance. The initiative unites these areas of our work more fully through increased coordination, planning, and innovation.

Framework for an Equitable Future

The Community Parks Initiative is one of nine immediate steps toward a brighter, greener future for New York City's Parks. For more information about the Community Parks Initiative and to download the report, visit the Framework for an Equitable Future page.

Priority Communities

We have targeted 55 neighborhoods in all five boroughs for our core program. We will rebuild 35 community parks and complement these improvements with outreach and investment. Use the map to see these priority communities, known as Community Parks Initiative zones.

Map showing Community Parks Initiative zones and project sites

Program Components

Capital Investment

NYC  Parks will rebuild 35 community parks. Each of these capital – or major physical improvement – projects will be developed with community input on the design principles and program. With your help, we will re-create the following community parks.


  • Jesse Owens Playground
  • Saratoga Ballfields
  • Stockton Playground
  • Stroud Playground
  • Ten Eyck Playground
  • Thomas Boyland Park


  • Astoria Heights Playground
  • Bowne Playround
  • Corona Mac Park / Simeone Louis Park
  • Grassmere Playground
  • Rockaway Community Park/Conch Playground
  • Van Alst Playground


  • Hunts Point Playground
  • Little Claremont Park
  • Longfellow Garden
  • Lyons Square Playground
  • Melrose Commons Site 32
  • Playground 52 LII
  • Ranaqua Park
  • Saw Mill Playground
  • Seabury Park

Staten Island

  • Arrochar Playground
  • DeMatti Playground
  • Grandview Playground
  • Levy Playground
  • McDonald Playground


  • Carmansville Playground
  • Henry M. Jackson Playground
  • James Weldon Johnson Playground
  • Luther Gulick Playground
  • Martin Luther King Playground
  • Playground 103 CIII
  • Sol Lain Playground
  • St. Nicholas Playground North
  • White Playground


The Community Parks Initiative will increase the capacity of local park stewards to program, care for, and be advocates for parks in their communities. We will join Partnerships for Parks to offer trainings, grants, visioning tools, and other resources to our community partners.

Recreational Programming

The initiative will bring expanded youth and adult sports and fitness programming to each of our priority communities, and will support local partners who wish to develop new programs to activate parks and serve communities. As an example, our Kids in Motion program is ongoing through the end of October, 2014.

Targeted Improvements

Parks will carry out many smaller-scale park improvement projects that can be completed on a faster schedule and bring immediate results to communities. Targeted improvement projects will happen throughout the Community Park Initiative zones, which are the areas that are shaded in gray on the map.


NYC Parks is increasing the presence of staff at parks throughout the Community Park Initiative zones to ensure improved quality of maintenance and safer, more beautiful parks.

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