Our advocacy work is based on our
guiding principles that public open spaces should serve the greatest
number of constituencies and be preserved and well-maintained in
perpetuity, and that resources should be allocated equitably and
Delivered increased maintenance funding, new public-private partnership for Flushing Meadows Corona Park: Following a lengthy NY4P advocacy campaign, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) agreed to contribute more than $10 million to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in conjunction with the New York City Council’s approval of a $500 million expansion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. As part of the agreement, the Parks Department will establish a new nonprofit alliance that will be dedicated to the ongoing stewardship and improvement of the park. Thanks to funding from the Altman Foundation, J.M. Kaplan Fund, and New York Community Trust, NY4P hired a leading national expert to conduct an independent study to estimate the park's current and upgraded maintenance costs, which helped determine the amount of USTA’s commitment. NY4P worked closely with local Council Member Julissa Ferreras throughout the nearly six-month public review process.
Secured $38 million in Parks Department budget: According to public officials, NY4P can claim a large share of the credit for the $38 million increase to the Parks Department’s budget for Fiscal Year 2013, thanks to recent advocacy efforts that included a rally with Council Members and citywide parks advocates on the steps of City Hall. We also helped bring the potential dangers of insufficient tree care to light, resulting in the first increase in funding for tree pruning since 2008.
Safeguarded open space in large-scale NYU rezoning: Through our ongoing advocacy in 2011 and 2012, we were successful in convincing New York University and the City to alter NYU’s 2031 development plan to ensure that the open spaces created in the plan will be more accessible and welcoming, serve a broader spectrum of New Yorkers, and be better maintained than the current spaces within the superblocks south of Washington Square Park. We convinced the University to map the open space where Mercer Playground has existed for several decades, and we helped develop a stringent long-term maintenance and operations plan for all open spaces on the site, including establishment of a community oversight body and an NYU-funded maintenance endowment. The plan's final approval also includes greater protections for LaGuardia Community Garden, which we will continue to monitor.