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Big Wins in the City Parks Budget

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Overall, this is shaping up to be a good year for our city parks. Advocates from across the city signed NY4P’s letter to the mayor and the city council, came to the Rally 4 Parks, contacted their elected officials, and supported our work. Together we let City Hall know how important open space is to New York communities, and we have city a budget that reflects that.

Mayor de Blasio dramatically increased the seasonal budget to deal with the enormous increase in park and playground use. The City Council also made some significant increases to the Parks Department budget. We can now look forward to better park maintenance during the summer months, a longer beach season, the preservation of essential staff positions, much-needed funding for tree stump removal, and increased access and improvements to parks and playgrounds across the city.

The budget, funded by a combination of mayoral (M) and City Council (CC) money, includes:

Expense:

  • $12 million for peak seasonal staffing – three times the usual season budget (M)
  • $9.6 million for extending 150 maintenance workers and gardeners for one year (CC)
  • $5.3 million for 67 new Park Enforcement Patrol officers (M)
  • $1.7 million to keep city pools and beaches open an extra week (CC)
  • $852 thousand for artificial turf crews to maintain 151 fields (M)
  • $1 million for citywide tree stump removal (M)

Capital:

  • $269.2 million for the next phase of the Community Parks Initiative (M)
  • $150 million for Anchor Parks: $30 million allocated to a large “anchor” park in each borough (M)
  • $42.1 million for the Walk to a Park program – including the renovation of schoolyards to allow them to stay open after school hours (M)
  • $50 million for construction of the first indoor DPR pool on Staten Island (M)
  • $59.6 million for reconstruction of recreation centers citywide (M)

This budget shows that Mayor de Blasio and the City Council, under the leadership of Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, understand the importance of our open spaces. It is a big step in the right direction, and with your help we’re going to build on this momentum next year.

To everyone whose dedication, advocacy, and support helped make this happen: Thank you!



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