News

A Win for Queens

Monday, July 29, 2013

The New York City Council voted 47-1 last Wednesday to approve the proposed $500 million expansion of the United States Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The expansion will replace the Louis Armstrong and Grandstand stadiums and add 7,000 seats, along with expanded parking and walkways.

But more importantly for park-users, the USTA has agreed to contribute more than $10 million to Queens' most popular park, including funds for much-needed capital projects, along with annual contributions for maintenance and programming for 23 years. As part of the deal, the Parks Department committed to establishing a new nonprofit alliance that will be dedicated to the ongoing stewardship and improvement of Flushing Meadows. The local Council Member, Julissa Ferreras, played a critical role in the negotiations, and throughout the nearly six-month public review process.

"Last week's approval heralds a new era for Flushing Meadows Corona Park," said Holly Leicht, NY4P’s Executive Director. "Council Member Ferreras has fought tirelessly for her community and its precious resources, resulting in an unprecedented, long-term investment by the USTA in the park.”
 
For the past year, NY4P has worked closely with the Council Member and other community stakeholders, as well as the Bloomberg Administration, to lend our expertise and advocate on behalf of park-users. We worked closely with the Fairness Coalition of Queens, a diverse group of respected local nonprofits that came together to protect the park and surrounding neighborhoods. Through months of meetings with the coalition, Council Member Ferreras and her staff, the Administration and the USTA, we helped ensure that the 0.68 acre of alienated parkland was replaced and that the USTA would support the park's ongoing upkeep and improvement.
 
One essential contribution of NY4P was an independent study we commissioned to estimate the park's current and upgraded maintenance costs. Thanks to generous funding from the Altman Foundation, J.M. Kaplan Fund, and New York Community Trust, we were able to hire the leading national expert in this area to conduct the analysis. The resulting data proved critical in helping all parties reach agreement on the amount the USTA will commit annually to help bring the under-resourced park up to an acceptable standard of care.

Under the specific terms of Wednesday’s agreement, starting in 2014, the USTA will contribute $5 million over six years for capital improvements in the park, along with $350,000 annually for three years for maintenance and programming, and then $200,000 annually for the following 20 years. This funding will help kick-start the new alliance, which will be similar to other nonprofit organizations that have helped lift parks across the city, including the Prospect Park Alliance in Brooklyn and the Bronx River Alliance.

Why an alliance? As Council Member Ferreras recognized well before this project was even proposed, Flushing Meadows Corona Park's condition and resources fall far short of its peer flagship parks in other boroughs, all of which have nonprofit organizations that support them.

In addition to overseeing maintenance and programming in the park, the alliance will fundraise and solicit new revenue sources to augment – not supplant – the park’s public budget, work closely with the community and park-users to develop and implement a long-term plan for the park, and ultimately help operate the park. The alliance will have an independent board with financial oversight, promoting greater transparency in how park funding is used. The USTA will be one of multiple local stakeholders to sit on its board.

“We really wanted to make sure this wasn’t a one-time thing and the USTA walks away,” Leicht told The New York Times. “It’s an ongoing partnership between the USTA and the community.”
 
New Yorkers for Parks applauds Council Member Ferreras for her stalwart dedication to her constituents and to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and for her leadership in bringing the Council, Administration, and USTA to an agreement that benefits those most impacted by the Tennis Center’s expansion: the residents and park-users of Queens.

Rally for Parks and Community Gardens at City Hall!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Come to NY4P's rally at City Hall!

Join New Yorkers for Parks and fellow open space advocates from every borough as we call upon the Mayoral candidates to make parks and gardens an election-year priority.

And bring your friends, neighbors, colleagues, family members – anyone who cares about NYC's open spaces.

NOTE: While the funeral for political consultant Bill Lynch will preclude mayoral candidates from attending, we hope you'll join us.


When:  Thursday, August 15th at 11:00 AM  (Please arrive 15 minutes early to go through security.)
Where:  City Hall Steps

The first 50 attendees before 11am will receive a free parks t-shirt!  Please bring a sign with the name of your favorite park or garden – or come early to make one onsite!

See you at City Hall!


Endorse Parks Platform 2013!

Ten recommendations for the candidates - and ultimately the next administration – to ensure that our city’s parks are protected and equitably maintained and improved.  The Platform incorporates feedback from more than 100 parks advocates who attended our April town hall.

 

New Yorkers for Parks Statement on USTA Expansion Agreement

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Yorkers for Parks applauds the final agreement between the United States Tennis Association and the New York City Council, which will allow the National Tennis Center to expand and Flushing Meadows Corona Park to flourish.
 
From the start of the public approval process, local residents and park-users voiced concerns about the park’s poor condition and their strained relationship with the USTA. Why should the expansion go forward, they asked, if the USTA doesn’t start giving back, on an ongoing basis, to the park that is home to the U.S. Open? To its credit, the Tennis Association heeded those concerns and has committed to increase its engagement with the surrounding community as well as its investment in the park.
 
Today’s approval heralds a new era for Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Not only has the USTA agreed to help fund much-needed capital improvements in the most heavily used park in Queens, it will also contribute annually to park maintenance and programming through a new nonprofit Alliance that the Parks Department is creating for the park. The overall mitigation package also includes the addition of more parkland than will be lost in the expansion, maintaining an important precedent: parkland cannot be privatized without replacement.
 
New Yorkers for Parks applauds City Council Member Julissa Ferreras for her stalwart dedication to her constituents and to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and for her leadership in bringing the City Council, the Administration and the USTA to an agreement that benefits those most impacted by the Tennis Center’s expansion: the residents and park-users of Queens.

Bringing Back a South Bronx Gem

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

By Erica Cooperberg

One of the South Bronx’s most venerable and beloved parks is in need of some TLC.

Since the late 1800s, St. Mary's Park has provided a secluded escape from city life. Though surrounded by flat land, the park's almost majestic topography invites visitors to explore expansive hills that transport them far from the urban hubbub of Mott Haven. The borough’s first playground was built there in 1914.

Today, families and friends flock to the park's barbeque areas, staking out their spots hours in advance. Others congregate by fitness equipment or take laps around the track. Children gravitate toward the playground, while parents and walkers relax on benches.

Over the decades, the park's popularity has taken a toll on the 35-acre park, which is ridden with muddy paths and cracked asphalt, eroded hills, bleacher-less baseball fields and stairways closed off due to disrepair. These conditions contributed to the park’s C+ score in NY4P’s 2012 Report Card on Large Parks.

That score – and the park’s tremendous potential – are the impetus for an NY4P effort to bring renewed attention and care to the park, including a March 10th story in The New York Times that highlighted some of its shortcomings and an upcoming open space assessment of the Mott Haven neighborhood, in which St. Mary's is located.

We continued this focus last Saturday, when we co-sponsored a volunteer cleanup in the park with Con Edison, a founding supporter of our Daffodil Project.  Nineteen Con Ed employees set out to beautify the park in what became a bonding experience for the group of predominantly new hires.

Parks Department staff provided a list of tasks, and the volunteer teams got to work. Some spent the sunny morning repainting benches, concrete water fountains and the decorative posts at the park’s entrance. Others hiked across the park’s hillsides collecting trash, which filled five large garbage bags.

Con Edison values our strong relationships with our nonprofit partners serving communities in New York City and Westchester County,” Con Edison said in a statement. This past weekend we joined New Yorkers for Parks to help beautify St Mary’s Park in the Bronx. Together, we worked the fields, playgrounds, and paths, collecting litter and putting fresh paint on benches and water fountains. St. Mary’s is a vital resource to its nearby residents and we’re grateful to help make a difference. We look forward to working with New Yorkers for Parks again.

The cleanup gave volunteers an opportunity to participate in park stewardship beyond the Daffodil Project's active fall planting season. And it gave St. Mary’s some much-needed attention. The park currently lacks a “friends of” group, which is something neighborhood residents would like to change.

“It’s important to have local volunteers invested who could go to community boards and elected officials and ask for funding,” said Emily Walker, who handles community outreach for NY4P.  

In the long run, the park will require multiple cycles of care: from short-term stewardship like last weekend, to mid-term fixes like pathway and surface replacement, to long-term care, like erosion mitigation.

We're hopeful that events like Saturday’s successful cleanup with Con Edison will spark more volunteerism in St. Mary's Park, often the first step in bringing new investment to city parks in need.

Pelham Parkway Leader's Budget Advocacy Is Springtime Ritual

Monday, July 01, 2013

At New Yorkers for Parks’ office, it has become a springtime tradition, as predictable as the annual budget cycle. 

The calls and e-mails come in in waves: just before the City Council’s March and April preliminary budget hearings, and then again before the early June final budget hearings. That caller and e-mailer is Raphael Schweizer, a fiercely dedicated Bronx park advocate, and a man who never misses a chance to advocate for more funding for the Parks Department. 

“I know lots of people who just complain about the Parks Department - maintenance, security, other issues. But they don’t really look at the issues and go and advocate for improvements,” Schweizer said. “So I thought, ‘if not them, why not me?” 

The e-mails began this year in mid-March, just before the preliminary Council hearing. Drawing from an NY4P newsletter, Schweizer was working on a statement to present at the hearing on behalf of his community board. Thoughtful and thorough, the resolution not only passed his own Community Board 11, but also Bronx Community Boards 9, 10 and 12, along with the Bronx Borough Board. 

A few weeks later, as the early June executive budget hearing approached, more calls.

“He doesn’t stop until he gets all the numbers verified,” said NY4P Outreach & Events Coordinator Emily Walker. “He’s very dedicated.” 

Not that Schweitzer limits his advocacy to the City budget. A lifelong Bronx resident, the 27-year-old is the co-founder of the Pelham Parkway Citizens Conservation Corps, a three-year-old group committed to maintaining the 109-acre park that runs down the middle of its namesake road in the east Bronx, connecting the Bronxdale, Bronxwood, Pelham Gardens, Pelham Parkway North and Morris Park neighborhoods, among others. He also helped found the Bronx Park East Community Association, which focuses on crime and other neighborhood issues. 

On weekends, he’s a fixture in the park, monitoring the wildly popular barbecue spots in its western portion. Though there are frequent litter problems, Schweizer has made strides in his efforts to keep the area clean. He’s usually joined in his clean-up efforts by a number of children and adults from the area, many of whom, like the majority of the barbecuers, are Mexican.

“It creates an understanding, and bringing the kids makes it endearing,” he said. “We haven’t gotten one negative reaction.”

Even if there’s a group Schweitzer and his friends fail to reach in person, his homemade clean-up reminder signs line the park, as do the tree pits he’s built and mulch he’s laid. 

“The park is really an undervalued space outside the immediate community,” Schweitzer said. “It’s expansive and has a huge diversity of species and foliage. It’s a world in and of itself.” 

Schweitzer often works closely with the Parks Department, and offers nothing but plaudits for his local park supervisor, Clinton Johnson.

“He’s just phenomenal, “Schweizer said. “A good-hearted and hard-working man.”

Others in the area feel the same way.

And so Schweizer does all he can to help the Parks Department succeed.


So much so, in fact, that even after his budget resolution was broadly passed, Schweizer had more to offer. At a Community Board 11 meeting, he was met with one final moment of inspiration, and began to write. 

“’I’ve always had an inkling toward arts and poetry,” he said, “so I thought ‘why not?’”

Days later, in the venerable Council Chambers at City Hall, he sat before Finance Committee Chair Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. and recited his poem, of which this is just an excerpt:


                  Pelham Parkway, Bronx Park, Pelham Bay Park, Van Cortlandt forest
                  These oaks, these maples
                  Without gender, nonetheless they capture our heart, they spur our soul.
                                 
                  They touch the tenderness that may be tucked beneath
                  Hardened city dwellers
                  Who may have never experienced a Vermont sunrise
                  Or wandered in a northeastern forest

                  For our parks ARE this city’s forest
                                
                  They are OUR forests.
                  Our oasis.

                  Just like superman and superwoman have a fortress of solitude, 
                  So do Bronx-dwellers.
                  In fact, the most fortresses of any borough.


Thanks in part to advocates like Raphael Schweizer, the City Council once again restored tens of millions of dollars in funding this week. In large part, it's the passion of advocates like him who made that possible.

NYCHA After-School Program's Butterfly Garden Takes Root in Brownsville

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

By Erica Cooperberg

In the midst of Brownsville’s public housing towers, new roots have been planted by many pairs of small hands. Nearly 15 students pulled on garden gloves last Tuesday, helping to contribute to the community’s newest outdoor project – planting a butterfly garden.

Although some students were hesitant at first, by the end of the session at the Seth Low Community Center every face beamed with a prideful smile. It was a hopeful foreshadowing of the floral growth to come.

This most recent butterfly garden planting was part of an ongoing partnership between New Yorkers for Parks and the New York City Housing Authority’s Garden and Greening Program to help connect NYCHA youth with the open spaces surrounding their residences.

Students between the ages of six and 12 attending an after-school session at the center were invited last week to join NY4P and help beautify their neighborhood by planting flora that will attract pollinating insects, like bees and butterflies.

Nine-year-old Christopher Livingston was excited at the prospect of sharing his home with more colorful insects. “I’ve just seen this one butterfly, a monarch butterfly,” he said. “It follows me around!”

But he wasn’t partial to flying insects: “Today I saw roly-polys in the dirt, centipedes, some ants, and seeing it all taught me that nature’s not so bad when you get to know it.”

Though they only had one small, concrete-bordered rectangle in which to plant, the young gardeners were all able to exercise their green thumbs by choosing their own plots, and enjoyed protectively scooping handfuls of soil around their plants’ stems.

After the group planting, rain started to fall, and each child focused on delicately cultivating their own spider plants – oftentimes by cautiously holding their planter outside in the light drizzle. Many took those plants home.

“I’m gonna put mine in my windowsill and open my window at night so my plant can have air,” said seven-year-old Dayviyana McFadden.

Bryana Morgan, 9, had a similar plan. “I’m putting the spider plant in my room because my mom will think it’s messy!” She noted that neglecting her beloved plant simply was not an option: “I’m going to water it every day.”

Her younger sister, Alyssa, agreed: “It’s going to be a lot of work!” But with her pigtails swinging, she enthused that, under her care, her plant will “grow so big that I’m gonna have to get another pot!”

 At first, some students were reluctant to grab a planter for themselves.

“I can’t take a plant home because I’ll be in summer camp and my parents work, so no one will be home to take of it,” Tyler Hodges worried. But after helping friends with their plantings, Hodges finally grabbed his own flower pot and set off to carefully place his hand-selected spider plant in it.

The late spring and early summer butterfly garden plantings are an extension of last fall’s inaugural NY4P/NYCHA plantings through the Daffodil Project, which NY4P founded in 2001 as a living memorial to September 11. With nearly five million free bulbs planted citywide by more than 40,000 school kids, parks and gardening groups, civic organizations, corporate volunteers and other New Yorkers, it’s now one of the largest volunteer efforts in the city’s history.

NY4P formally partnered with NYCHA’s Garden and Greening staff in 2012 and sponsored Daffodil Project youth plantings at NYCHA community centers in every borough, including two in Staten Island after Hurricane Sandy. This fall, NY4P will extend its community plantings to NYCHA developments most heavily impacted by Sandy, including waterfront communities in Staten Island, South Brooklyn and the Rockaways.

Judging from the participants’ reactions, last week’s planting at Seth Low was a memorable event.

“I think planting [today] was kind of inspiring, because if people plant now, they can teach other kids about plants, and then those kids can teach other kids,” Livingston said.

And, leading by example, it wasn’t long before he was helping others nestle their own plants into the soil.




Holly Leicht to Lead Panel on Catalytic Role of West Side Parks

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

NY4P Executive Director Holly Leicht will lead a discussion Tuesday night at the Center for Architecture in Manhattan that explores not only the catalytic impact open space has had along Manhattan's west side, but also how new parks will further shape the area.

The panel will feature the designers of the High Line, Hudson River Park and Hudson Park & Boulevard. These parks and open spaces will complement and connect to the more than 14 acres of open space being developed and maintained by Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group at Hudson Yards.

Panelists will discuss the planning and programming of one of the largest networks of parks and open spaces undertaken in decades, how they impact community building and the importance of rezoning in the planning process.
 
The event is part an eight-week speaker series that brings together the celebrated architects, designers, civic leaders, City partners and developers who are redefining New York’s skyline. The series complements the Design(in) the New Heart of New York exhibition currently on display at the Center for Architecture’s Breakthrough Space Gallery through June 30th.  

Who:           

Holly Leicht, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks
Matthew Johnson, Senior Associate at Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Peter Mullan, Vice President for Planning & Design at Friends of the High Line
Lisa Switkin, Associate Partner at James Corner Field Operations
Matthew Urbanski, RLA, Principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

When:                

Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Where:       

The Center for Architecture
536 LaGuardia Place, Manhattan



Familiar Threats Loom, But Proposed Parks Budget Delivers Mostly Good News 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

For the first time since 2008, the preliminary FY14 budget calls for a significant increase in Parks Department staff: 414 new positions, the majority of which are dedicated to parks maintenance. The proposed expense budget totals more than $344 million, up from the $337.5 million adopted last year.
 
The 414 new positions will include 252 maintenance workers, 81 Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) Officers, 30 climbers and pruners, and 51 trades workers.

At last week's City Council Executive Budget hearing, Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White announced more details on the new, expanded PEP staff: the 81 officers will be dispersed in late summer, and the full force will comprise 18 officers each day in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and 22 officers each day in Brooklyn and Queens.
 
And there’s more good news : the $2 million for tree pruning that we successfully advocated to add to last year’s budget has been baselined, enabling DPR to return to a respectable 7- to 8-year pruning cycle. The total proposed amount for pruning is now $3.45 million.
 
For the fourth year in a row, however, there is no funding – not a single dollar – for stump removal, though stumps have become ubiquitous citywide in the wake of severe weather events like Hurricane Sandy.  As The New York Times reported in March, tens of thousands of stumps pervade the city’s sidewalks, 11,000 the result of Sandy alone. These stumps are a hazard as well as a lost opportunity to increase the urban tree canopy with new trees.  And because it is almost impossible to get stumps removed, some New Yorkers have soured on having new trees planted in front of their homes – a lose-lose prospect.

NY4P calls on the City Council and the Administration to add $2 million to the FY14 budget for stump removal, and to baseline this amount as they have for pruning. Only by investing in the entire lifespan of a tree – from planting to maintenance to removal – will we ensure a greener city for future generations.

We're also advocating for the restoration of approximately $26.5 million for 129 Seasonal Associates, 30 Playground Associates, 42 Pool Associates and 850 Job Training Participants (JTP's) - just as we have for three years running. Without funding for these positions, the Parks Department says four pools – Wagner in Manhattan, Faber in Staten Island, Fort Totten in Queens, and Howard in Brooklyn – would be shuttered all summer, and all pools citywide would close two weeks early. NY4P's position, and the second point of our Parks Platform 2013, is that these functions, which are core services of the Parks Department, should be baselined in DPR's budget rather than being subject to the annual budget dance between the Administration and the Council.
 
For the first time since 2008, the proposed budget for the Parks Department looks promising. But NY4P will continue to push for the final FY14 budget to go even further, by restoring funding for critical summer staff, swimming pools and JTP positions, and adding $2 million for stump removal.

We urge you to advocate for a better Parks budget, too. Here's how:

In person:

City Council Executive Budget Hearing
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Council Chambers, City Hall, Manhattan
public comment period will begin at approximately 3pm

By e-mail (before June 6):

tedwards@council.nyc.gov

By fax (before June 6):

212-788-7061

In One Afternoon, Bronx Activist Restores Courts of His Youth

Friday, May 31, 2013

When young Joe Zeigler went missing, his mom knew just where to find him.
 
She’d poke her head out of their home across the street from Soundview Park and see her son doing the same thing he did most days when he wasn’t in school: playing full-court basketball on one of the park’s two courts.
 
“On Sundays, the park and those courts are where the whole community comes together,” said Zeigler, 31. “It’s like our country club.”
 
Every Sunday, the ball would pound and sneakers would squeak for hours; shots would clang off the backboards or roll around the netless rims. Though the lines on the courts had long since been obscured by graffiti, the players did their best to call an honest game. And though garbage often overflowed from the trashcans in the park, families and friends came to cheer them on.
 
Zeigler went on to star as a shooting guard at nearby Monsignor Scanlan High School and later at Medaille College, near Buffalo. When he was away, he never forgot his memories of those games, those Sundays. And when he returned to the city and began working, a desire to give something back to that park – which remained the hub of the neighborhood despite its ragged condition – never left him. Last summer, he decided to do something about it.
 
“I realized, I don’t have a lot of money, but I have a lot of friends, and a little money – so I could really make a difference. I owed it to those courts.”

When Zeigler began an online campaign, many told him it was futile. They said others had tried to fix the park, but failed. Weeks later, he had raised $1600. He called his effort the G.Y.M. (Getting Youth Motivated) Project.
 
Last July 21st might have seemed like just another Saturday at the courts, but when Zeigler arrived with friends, four shiny orange rims, line stencils, paint, brooms, gardening tools and trash bags, everything at the courts was suddenly different. Within hours, the area had been transformed, and Zeigler felt a burden lift off him.
 
The day was interrupted, however, when a Parks Department employee stopped and questioned the group. Eventually, a Bronx Parks supervisor, Clinton Johnson, was called to the park. Zeigler took him aside and explained his story: growing up in the neighborhood, playing ball every weekend, honing the skills that would help send him to high school and college.
 
“I told my story and thought, ‘I really don’t want to go to jail for trying to fix a park. What would I tell my kids one day?’”

But Johnson was moved by the story. He told Zeigler he loved his drive and effort, and would do anything he could to help him.
 
“Clinton kept his word from that day forward,” Zeigler said.
 
That day, and that conversation, marked a milestone in Zeigler’s life. Not only had the courts been restored, but Zeigler, emboldened by Johnson’s support, was ready to take on a leadership role in the community.
 
Johnson connected him with Partnerships for Parks, which Johnson says has helped “tremendously” in working with Zeigler to organize park cleanups and youth events. Zeigler is planning to raise money for an extension of the G.Y.M. Project called Get Fit, which will bring young children and their parents to the park to exercise and learn about nutrition, and eventually be extended to local public schools.
 
News about Zeigler’s work reached Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., who nominated Zeigler for Bronx Community Board 9, which Zeigler joined last November.
 
“A lot of people want change, but they don’t always know how to help,” he said. “Now I’m part of that change. It’s a blessing.”
 
He hopes to eventually take his anti-obesity work to other neighborhoods.
 
“Any place where kids can be active – that’s where I want to be,” he said. “When I grew up, the worst punishment was ‘you can’t go outside.’ When that happened, I knew it was for real. Now it’s ‘you have to go outside.’ That makes me think something needs to change.”
 
But his primary focus, at least for now, remains the basketball courts, which he says need a complete resurfacing. He’s raising money for that, and, like much of Zeigler’s work, it will likely be a group effort.
 
That’s fitting. After all, the true strength of Zeigler’s community work is drawn from the connections he made over all those years in the park, on the courts. That’s why he kept going back. That’s how he raised money so quickly last summer. That’s why so many friends have done whatever they can to help him over the past year.
 
“There’s no more trash around the court, no more graffiti,” he said. “I wanted people to take ownership, and they have. They know they’ve had a hand in fixing something that they can call their own. When the court is finished, I will sit back, cross my legs and say not ‘look at what I did,’ but ‘look at what we did.’”

To watch a short video about Zeigler's work, click here.


What a Difference a Week Makes: Proposed MLS Stadium Location Revisited

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just last Monday, when our New York Daily News Op-Ed opposing the proposed construction of a Major League Soccer stadium in the heart of Flushing Meadows Corona Park called the parkland "irreplaceable," Mayor Bloomberg refuted our position: “It's not irreplaceable," he said, assuring reporters that the stadium would indeed be built in the park.  In late April, MLS Commissioner Don Garber echoed those sentiments: "If we get this done, it will be in Flushing Meadow Park. There is no Plan B,'' he told The Associated Press.

 Yet on Tuesday, the new team – to be co-owned by the Manchester City Football Club and the New York Yankees – announced its partnership and indicated that the new team would be open to considering alternate sites for a stadium. When asked about FMCP as the home for the stadium, the mayor told reporters: "I think that's a wonderful place for it, but it's not the only place."

New Yorkers for Parks welcomed the announcement and is particularly pleased that the team, called the New York City Football Club, is open to exploring alternative sites for a stadium. We look forward to working with the Bloomberg Administration, MLS and the team to identify a more appropriate location for NYCFC's permanent home.