Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


 

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


 

Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


Championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods.


What's New

October 7, 2014 
The key to addressing park equity issues has always been meaningful public-sector investment, and that’s exactly what the mayor and Council have delivered today. Read our statement

July 17, 2014 
It’s a familiar complaint among even the most ardent park lovers in New York City: navigating the road toward effective park advocacy is just too confusing. But now, through a collaboration of New Yorkers for Parks, the Center for Urban Pedagogy and Partnerships for Parks, there is a new guide aimed at lifting that fog. Read more 

Parks Department Budget to Increase by $16.25 Million
June 23, 2014 
Mayor de Blasio and the City Council agreed to add $16.25 million to the Parks Department's budget, which will fund 200 full-time maintenance and gardening jobs, and 80 additional Parks Enforcement Patrol officers. Read our statement

A Better Capital Construction Process
June 6, 2014 
A new NY4P report offers a number of straightforward steps that the NYC Parks Department can take to ensure a capital projects process that is timelier, more cost-effective, and transparent. Read more


Mott Haven Falls Short of Open Space Benchmarks in New Report
May 14, 2014 
Mayor de Blasio wants to tackle park equity issues, and the South Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood is a great place to start. The area failed 11 of 15 benchmarks in our new Open Space Index report that assessed both traditional Parks Department properties and New York City Housing Authority open spaces. Read more


Momentum Builds for Parks Budget Increases
May 1, 2014 
With a request to increase the Parks Department's maintenance and operations budget by $27 million, New York City Council Parks & Recreation Committee Chairman Mark Levine has left no doubt that the Council is serious about addressing park equity issues. Read more


Park Equity Begins with a Better Public Budget
April 10, 2014 
As the FY 2015 Parks Department budget is debated, there are several specific budget and policy reforms that the de Blasio administration can undertake in the name of equity and fairness. Read more


2014 Daffodil Project Awardees Announced
April  9, 2014 
NY4P will honor six outstanding Daffodil Project participants Thursday at the annual Daffodil Breakfast at Bryant Park Grill. Read more


A New Parks Commissioner
March 21, 2014 
Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Mitchell Silver as the next commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. Read our statement


Tupper Thomas Named Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks
February 18, 2014 
Tupper Thomas, a nationally renowned parks expert who spearheaded the rebirth of Brooklyn's Prospect Park, has been named Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks. Read more


February 11, 2014
With Mayor de Blasio poised to announce the next NYC Parks Commissioner, we present our new transition memo, “Four Ways to Equitably Improve NYC’s Parks.” Read more


In Memoriam: Greg Hopper
February 10, 2014
Greg Hopper was a nearly constant presence in Harlem River Park for more than ten years, and made people from all walks of life feel welcome there. But when he passed away of a heart attack on December 26, he left a void along the shores of the lower Harlem that may be impossible to fill. Read more


Holly Leicht Appointed HUD Regional Administrator for New York/New Jersey
January 2, 2014
New Yorkers for Parks Executive Director Holly Leicht has been appointed by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan to serve as Regional Administrator of HUD Region II, which comprises New York and New Jersey. Her final day at NY4P will be January 10. Read more


One Year Later, Beleaguered Park’s Prospects Looking Up
December 16, 2013
One year ago, Flushing Meadows Corona Park faced an uncertain future. Going forward, more than $25 million in private commitments will fund park improvements and help start a new non-profit alliance, thanks in part to a study NY4P commissioned. Read more


Bronx Shapes Advocate’s Identity as She Greens its Parks

December 16, 2013
Through her Bronx is Blooming organization, Jenn Beaugrand has helped thousands of volunteers transform South Bronx spaces that were once more synonymous with the burnt-out buildings alongside them than anything grown within. Read more


Who's Using NYC's Playgrounds?
December 11, 2013
In an era of budget constraints, how can New York City’s Parks Department most efficiently allocate public dollars? Answering that question requires tracking visitor patterns across the park system. In a new study, Understanding Playground Utilization, NY4P partnered with NYU to demonstrate how such a model could work – specifically, in ten playgrounds across the city. Read more


Park Equity Debated at Talking Transition Event

November 26, 2013
How can the de Blasio administration create a more equitable parks system? That was the topic of a New Yorkers for Parks forum at the Talking Transition tent in SoHo last Thursday. Read more and watch a video of the event.

Improving Capital Projects in NYC Parks

November 26, 2013
Rents in New York City may be too damn high, but according to many park advocates and elected officials, the Parks Department's process for building capital projects is too damn slow. Read more

Coming Home in Sheepshead Bay

November 7, 2013
As the south Brooklyn community doggedly recovers from Hurricane Sandy, the Daffodil Project tradition – a constant there since 2001 – has taken on heightened meaning among neighborhood volunteers.  Read more

See all news

Recent Reports

A Survey of Capital Projects Management Among New York City Government Agencies (2014)
The NYC Parks Department, which is responsible for carrying out capital improvements in parks, has been criticized by many for running behind schedule and over-budget on these projects. Working with Public Works Partners, NY4P has explored how the Department can improve its capital process through interviews with several City agencies that conduct capital projects, along with the City's offices of Management and Budget and Contract Services. This report offers a number of straightforward steps to ensure a timelier, more cost-effective, and transparent capital process. Read the full report
The South Bronx’s Mott Haven neighborhood failed 11 of 15 benchmarks in this comprehensive assessment of both traditional Parks Department properties and New York City Housing Authority open spaces. The report calls for capital investment in parks and playgrounds, more welcoming and accessible Housing Authority spaces, and better access to the waterfront and Randall’s Island Park, among other improvements. Mott Haven is located within the poorest community board district in the city and poorest congressional district in the country. Read the full report

Understanding Playground Utilization (2013)

In this study, NY4P partnered with New York University to demonstrate how a model for tracking visitor patterns across the park system could work – specifically, in ten playgrounds across the city, across the four seasons. The report includes a discussion of how such a tracking method could help the city assess not only Parks Department resource allocation, but also initiatives such as the Department of Transportation’s Public Plazas Program. The study also details specific observations reported by users of the ten playgrounds and provides detailed briefs on each property. Read the full report

New York City Council Districts 4 and 5 fall far short of nearly every one of the 15 New York City-specific benchmarks that comprise NY4P’s Open Space Index (OSI) – even when Central Park and Privately Owned Public Spaces are taken into account. In addition to the findings, our fourth OSI survey offers preliminary recommendations for East Side open-space improvements, including reimagining underutilized public spaces, pairing new development with open space improvements, and realizing the full potential of the East River waterfront. Read the full report

The good news: New York City's large parks average a B+ for maintenance, up from a B a year earlier. The bad news: old problems keep popping up in new places. This report revisits maintenance conditions of the 43 parks between 20 and 500 acres surveyed in our 2011 Report Card. Eighty-eight percent of parks scored in the A or B range, three scored in the C range and one earned a D.
Read the full report

The third survey of neighborhood open space using NY4P’s Open Space Index tool shows how East Harlem stacks up against citywide standards for open space, park access, and environmental sustainability.  The East Harlem report offers recommendations for stakeholders in the area, and is the first in a series of joint research reports conducted by NY4P and Mount Sinai School of Medicine Children’s Environmental Health Center.
Read the full report.
Our first Report Card on Large Parks assessed the conditions of 45 parks between 20 and 500 acres. The good news:  the vast majority scored an A or B, and only one park received a failing grade. Read the full report.

 

Report Card on Beaches (2011)
Our third Report Card on Beaches looked at the seven municipal swimming beaches with an eye toward trends across six years. The average beach score increased from an F in 2007 to a B+ in 2011. Read the full report.

 

The Open Space Index:
Lower East Side (2010)
In 2010, NY4P developed the Open Space Index methodology, which is based on a set of 15 NYC-specific benchmarks against which we measure open space maintenance, access, variety and environmental sustainability, generating data on the study neighborhood’s strengths and needs. Our first report assessed Manhattan's Lower East Side. Read the full report.

 

Supporting our Parks: A Guide to Alternate Revenue Strategies (2010)
In a time of strained municipal budgets, NY4P has become a leading voice on creative financing mechanisms for new parks. This report provides a balanced, comprehensive look at potential revenue streams to generate funding outside of New York City's budget to support parks while preserving their character and ensuring equitable distribution of parks resources citywide. Read the full report.

Our History

For more than 100 years, NY4P has promoted and protected parks and open spaces in New York City.  Since our founding in 1908, our mission has been to ensure that all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods have access to quality parks and open spaces.

That mission has inspired us to wage – and win – battles with Robert Moses over parkland alienation, advocate for landmark playground and waterfront parks projects, engage low-income teenagers in community beautification and environmental initiatives, and conduct and publish award-winning open space research.

Throughout our history, we have seen parks foster healthy lifestyles, social interaction, community stability and civic pride.  More than just working on behalf of New Yorkers for better parks and open spaces, we’re working for New Yorkers on behalf of a better New York.

Read more about our past accomplishments here.