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

August 14, 2015
Registration for Daffodil Project bulbs is now open! To be a part of the 2015 Daffodil Project season, order your free bulbs here.  

July 28, 2015
This spring brought two new corporate partnerships to NY4P, with new opportunities to make an impact in some of the Bronx’s highest-need and most heavily-used parks.  Read more. 

July 21, 2015
How does NY4P create conscientious, well-researched reports? Our survey interns are the key: they collect thousands of data points about conditions in New York City’s parks. Read more. 

June 23, 2015
We thank the City Council for restoring funding to support 150 Parks staff in next year's city budget, and we're glad to see more funding for the city's park equity goals. We're also determined to keep working for the money the park system needs to support mid-size parks, capital needs, and gardens. See our statement on the budget.

June 3, 2015
For the fourth Report Card on Beaches, NY4P surveyed and evaluated all seven city-operated beaches covered in previous Report Cards and added Cedar Grove Beach on Staten Island. The report shows continuing progress overall, despite the unique challenges of recovering from Hurricane Sandy, and makes six recommendations to keep all New York City beaches thriving in the future. Learn more about the Report Card.

May 20, 2015
New Yorkers for Parks has analyzed the mayor's executive budget. We applaud new funding for the Community Parks Initiative, Parks Without Borders, safety personnel and tree care. But we see major gaps in funding that would provide for cleaner, safer parks and gardens citywide. For around $65 million, less than one percent of the total budget, the city can make good on its pledge to advance the larger park equity goal this year. Here are our recommendations.

Creativity and Innovation Can Fund Parks When City Budgets Fall Short
May 26, 2015
While government budgets should always serve as parks' main funding sources, reality teaches us that some parks benefit in a big way from creative approaches. We're excited to release a set of recommendations for funding innovation with the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Read about them here. 
 
Parks and open spaces drew more than $12 million in funding in participatory-budgeting rounds at 24 of the City Council's 51 districts. Read more here

May 5, 2015
Join New Yorkers for Parks, Councilmember Mark Levine, community gardeners and other fellow open space advocates from every borough as we call on the Mayor and City Council to commit much-needed funding for our city's parks and gardens. Bring your friends, neighbors, colleagues, family members- anyone who cares about NYC's open spaces. RSVP here

April 6, 2015
The 5.5 million daffodil bulbs planted by volunteers in all five boroughs of New York City over the past 14 years are once again in bloom! In honor of this, we are pleased to announce the opening of our annual Daffodil Project Photo Contest to all amateur photographers, gardeners, and New Yorkers who love their parks and open spaces. We are excited to see the beautiful results of the hard work of the volunteers who have helped to plant bulbs every fall since 2001. Read more
March 25, 2015
As budget season begins, the Department of Parks and Recreation needs more operating support to keep parks in good shape, and more funding for studies and capital projects in the midsize parks that anchor our neighborhoods.  At a City Council Parks Committee hearing on March 9, Executive Director Tupper Thomas gave this testimony outlining what we plan to advocate as the budget process moves forward.

January 30, 2015
The New York City Council seeks more thorough reporting on how private conservancies help the public park system thrive. We've made the case for more data sharing and data analysis, across conservancy-aided parks and other parks, to get at the true cost of making parks surpass expectations. Executive Director Tupper Thomas gave this testimony on the issue at a January 29 hearing. 

January 13, 2015
The Hudson River Park Trust's proposal for Pier55 combines culture, recreation and landscape in a pioneering waterfront design. We've spoken out in support of the proposal in the public review process, with special respect to its well-funded maintenance plan. Click here to see Executive Director Tupper Thomas' testimony at Community Board 2's January 7 hearing.

December 17 , 2014 
What's the right way to invest in centuries-old forests and marsh that can protect us in a changing city? Tupper Thomas weighed in on the question at the City Council Parks and Recreation Committee's first-ever hearing on funding the Natural Areas Conservancy and related projects. Read Tupper's testimony here.  

November 20, 2014 
As winter approaches, we are completing our planting season for this year’s Daffodil Project. This was one of the biggest years in the Project’s history, thanks in large part to the over 875 individuals and civic organizations who planted our bulbs. Read more 

November 20, 2014 
On November 6, with the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund and NYU Wagner’s Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, we convened experts and advocates to discuss new ways to finance parks in front of a standing-room-only audience, including Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. Read more

November 20, 2014 
At the November 5 City Council Parks Committee hearing on the Community Parks Initiative (CPI), Executive Director Tupper Thomas praised the City’s plan to address capital and maintenance needs in many small neighborhood parksRead more

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 

Recent Reports

The 2015 Report Card on Beaches 
New York City's eight swimming beaches have made steady overall progress since New Yorkers for Parks began tracking them in 2007, despite the interruption of Hurricane Sandy. There is more work to do, though, to make these beaches consistently great. Read the report card.

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 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.