Play Fair
About Play Fair

Play Fair is a multi-year advocacy campaign for parks leading up to the Mayoral election in 2021. In 2019, we kicked off the Play Fair campaign by focusing on a significant increase to the expense budget for the Parks Department, which would “baseline,” or secure, funding for much-needed maintenance, gardener and park worker positions in the City budget. Investing in greenspaces also improves air quality, makes our neighborhoods more resilient, and brings New Yorkers closer to nature.

New Yorkers for Parks partnered with the New York League of Conservation Voters, and DC 37, the Parks workers’ union, to form the Play Fair Coalition, which now includes over 250 organizations. The Play Fair campaign has the support of a supermajority of the City Council.

Play Fair Year 2

In Year 2 of the Play Fair Campaign, we are asking the Mayor and the City Council to consider adding $100M to the NYC Parks Expense Budget and $100M for NYC Parks Capital Investments. Here's how these funds break down.

$100M to invest in the Expense Budget for NYC Parks

$74.95M to invest in critical Maintenance and Operations

  • $10M to baseline the new 100 City Park Worker and 50 Gardener staff lines added in the FY20 budget.
  • $5.5M to create a pathway to full-time employment for 100 Parks Opportunity Program participants citywide.
  • $3M to create an in-house comfort station improvement team to target a comfort station in every borough, with 18 full-time staff, and 20 seasonal positions.
  • $2.5M to bring critically needed maintenance equipment to all 51 Council Districts, including new mowers, Gators, and other equipment needed to ensure NYC Parks maintenance crews have the tools they need.
  • $950K to more than double the NYC Parks staff conducting the critically-needed citywide Capital Needs Assessment, decreasing the timeline on finishing this work to understand where improvements are most needed in our parks system.
  • $53M for more full-time, dedicated Parks staff, with $18M to expand fixed-post crews to all eligible parks citywide (690 total), and $35M to begin expanding Zone Management crews to the largest parks citywide.

$8.15M to invest in Recreation and Programming

  • $4M in the budget would mean that 395 playgrounds would be able host structured sports and afterschool programs for children in every district. This means structure, safety, and imaginative play for tens of thousands of New York’s children and their families.
  • $1.75M to hire additional staff for after-school programs at Recreation Centers citywide, which would complement the Administration’s goal of extending Recreation Center hours.
  • $1.8M to create a Natural Turf Management citywide crew to better maintain and care for our natural turf fields in every borough.
  • $600K to hire 10 new Partnerships for Parks Outreach Coordinators to support park stewards and volunteers across the city.

$9M to invest in Parks Safety

  • $3M to baseline and preserve the 50 new Urban Park Ranger positions created in the FY20 budget.
  • $6M to baseline and preserve the 80 new Parks Enforcement Patrol positions created in the FY20 budget.

$7.92M to invest in Nature and Resiliency

  • $3.4M to baseline 15 new GreenThumb staff, and expand access to resources and tools for community gardeners citywide.
  • $4M to baseline 47 new Natural Resources Group staff to continue conserving and caring for our natural forests.
  • $520K to hire 4 full-time crews to conduct targeted lake and pond maintenance and monitoring in parks citywide.


$100M in Capital Investments for NYC Parks

  • $52M to rebuild 10 neighborhood parks and playgrounds throughout the City via the Community Parks Initiative.
  • $4.8M to invest in vitally needed structural improvements for GreenThumb Community Gardens citywide, including fence and sidewalk repair, and installation of on-site water at 30 gardens citywide.
  • $3.8M to continue critical investments in proactively protecting, conserving, and maintaining our natural forests.
  • $39.4M in flexible capital funding for NYC Parks to help complete capital projects and improve parks infrastructure citywide.


On March 13, 2020, NY4P hosted a digital rally on Twitter to launch Play Fair 2020. Members of the Play Fair Coalition and from the City Council sent in video testimony on why elected officials need to dedicate more funds to NYC's parks and open spaces.
Play Fair Year 1

In the first year, the Play Fair Coalition asked the Mayor and the City Council to direct much-needed maintenance and operations funding to the NYC Parks Department. Although City parks make up 14% of NYC’s land, last year the agency only received a meager 0.59% of the total City budget. For too long, parks and gardens have been overlooked as essential infrastructure for healthy neighborhoods.

Over 200 New Yorkers braved the winter weather to join the Play Fair Coalition on the steps of City Hall on February 28 to tell the City Council and Mayor to stop overlooking and under-funding our parks and green spaces! But that was just the beginning. We rallied again on May 14 to show City Hall that we won't stop until parks get the funding they need.

And it worked! On June 14 City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, the New York City Council, and Mayor Bill de Blasio included a historic $44 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR PARKS in the city budget!

The Play Fair Coalition joins City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on June 27, 2019 to celebrate the historic $44 million Parks budget increase
The Play Fair Coalition joins City Council Speaker Corey Johnson on June 27, 2019 to celebrate the historic $44 million Parks budget increase

$44 million investment in the FY20 budget for the City’s parks includes:

  • $19.1 million for park maintenance workers, including 200 park workers, 100 gardeners, of which $9.6 million for 100 park workers and 50 gardeners is baselined
  • $4 million for additional 50 Urban Park Rangers
  • $6 million for additional 80 Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) officers
  • $4 million for Forestry Management
  • $8.2 million to support all 550 GreenThumb community gardens citywide
  • $1.7 million to extend the City’s pool and beach season by an additional one week
  • $1 million to support tree stump removal

This is a huge, historic win for NYC parks and the millions of people who depend on them. Thank you to the Speaker and Mayor, and MANY thanks to all the members of the Play Fair Coalition for all of your hard work getting us here. You made it happen!

Play Fair Petition

Let your elected officials know you support investing in our parks and open spaces. Fill out the Play Fair petition here!

Play Fair Coalition

Add your organization to the Play Fair Coalition today! 

Click here to join the Coalition


The Play Fair Coalition includes:

10th & Stuyvesant Streets Block Association
142nd St. Dog Run
300 West Block Association
52 People for Progress
6BC Botanical Garden
A Patch of Inspiration Garden
A. Philip Randolph Square Neighborhood Alliance
Abraham Lincoln Neighborhood Development Association
AIA New York
Alice Austen House Museum
Alley Pond Environmental Center, Inc.
Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park
American Society of Landscape Architects, New York Chapter (ASLA-NY)
Astoria Park Alliance
Baisley Pond Park Block Association 
Bedford Mosholu Community Association
Bissel Gardens BX
Boerum Hill School for International Studies
Bronx Coalition for Parks & Green Spaces
Bronx Community Board 8
Bronx Community Health Network
Bronx Council for Environmental Quality
Bronx Land Trust
Bronx Park East Community Association
Bronx River Alliance
Bronx Roots in Motion
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
Brooklyn Parks & Open Space Coalition
Brooklyn Queens Land Trust
BUFNY II/Harlem Tenants Association
Cadman Park Conservancy/Brooklyn War Memorial
Carl Schurz Park Conservancy
Carnegie Hill Neighbors
Central Park Conservancy
Chelsea Waterside Park Association
Citizen Gardeners
Citizens Climate Lobby 
City Island Rising
City Parks Foundation
Cleveland-Pitkin Block Association
Clinton Garden
Coastal Preservation Network
Cobble Hill Association
Common Ground Compost
Concrete Plant Park Friends
Coney Island Beautification Project
Conference House Park Conservancy Inc.
Cortelyou Road Merchant Assocation (CORMA)
Court Square Civic Association
DC37 Retirees Association
Design Trust for Public Space
Different Directions
Douglaston Local Development Corporation
Downtown Alliance
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership
Drew Gardens
Drew Gardens Educational Recreation
Dunbar Garden Council
Earth Avengers
Earth Ministry of the Church of the Mediator
East NY 4 Gardens
Edgemere Coalition Community Garden
Edso Sports, Inc.
El Garden Bushwick
El Jardin del Paraiso
El Puente
Elite Learners, Inc.
Ellington on the Park
Elmhurst Supporters of Parks
Fieldston Rd. Association
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy
Fort Four Playground
Fort Greene Park Conservancy
Fort Tryon Park Trust
Forth on Fourth Avenue 
Fresh Creek Nature Association
Friends of 29th St Park
Friends of 4 Parks Alliance
Friends of Abe Lebewohl Park
Friends of Alley Pond Park 
Friends of Amersfort Park
Friends of Anibal Aviles Playground
Friends of Astoria Heights Park
Friends of Bellevue South Park
Friends of Bennett Park
Friends of Brookville Park
Friends of Brower Park, Inc
Friends of Brownsville Parks
Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park 
Friends of Carroll Park
Friends of Corlears Hook Park
Friends of Cunningham Park 
Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
Friends of Ferry Point Park & Waterways
Friends of Forest Park
Friends of Francis Lewis Park
Friends of Governors Island
Friends of Inwood Hill Park
Friends of MacDonald Park 
Friends of Morningside Park
Friends of Mosholu Parkland
Friends of Pelham Bay Park
Friends of Pelham Parkway
Friends of Raimonda Park
Friends of Seton Falls Park
Friends of Soundview Park
Friends of St. Andrew's Playground
Friends of Straus Park
Friends of Sunset Park
Friends of the High Line
Friends of Tompkins Square Dog Run
Friends of Transmitter Park 
Friends of Tremont Park
Friends of Whalen Park
Friends of Williamsbridge Oval
Forest Hills Green Team
Garden Train
Genesis Community Garden
Girl Scout Troop 3205
Girl Scouts of Greater New York
Gowanus Canal Conservancy
Green Bronx Machine
Green Guerillas
Green Map System
Green Park Gardeners NYC
Greenbelt Conservancy Inc.
Greenpoint Citizens Club
Guerinos Against Graffiti 
Harlem Grown
Havemeyer Garden
Health Essential Association
Hellgate Hill-Highgate Community Association
Highland Park Tennis
Hudson River Park Trust
Hunters Point Parks Conservancy
Inwood Hill Park Conservancy
Inwood Rotary Club
Jackson Heights Beautification Group
Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy
Jardin La Roca
Jenny's Garden
Kelly St. Garden
Kissena Corridor Park Conservancy, Inc.
La Petit Versailles
Le'alani S. Boykin Consulting
Lenru Coop
Less AIDS Lesotho
Lewis Latimer House
Little Green Garden
Long Island City Partnership
Lott Street Block Association
Love Our Pool
Loving the Bronx
Lower East Side Ecology Center
Madison Square Park Conservancy
Marcus Garvey Park Alliance 
Maria Hernandez Park Dog Run Pack 
Melrose New Generation
Miracle Garden
Morris Park BID
Morton Street Block Association
Municipal Art Society
Myrtle Ave BID
National Parks Conservation Association
Natural Areas Conservancy
New York Junior Tennis & Learning
New York Restoration Project
Newtown Creek Alliance
North American Climate, Conservation and Environment (NACCE)
North Brooklyn Parks Alliance
North Brooklyn Neighbors
NYC Audubon
NYC Community Garden Coalition
Paedergat Bay Condo II
Parent Child Relationship Association
Park Clinton Gardening
Prime Produce
Project Harmony, inc.
Prospect Park Alliance
Prospect Park Community Committee
Prospect Pl/New York Ave Block Association
Q Gardens Community Farm
Randall's Island Park Alliance
Red Hook Conservancy
Red Hook West Resident Association, Inc.
Richmond Hill Historical Society
RING Garden
River Garden
Riverside Park Conservancy
Rockaway Initiative for Sustainability and Equity (RISE)
Row New York
Rude Grooms
Rutgers Resident Association
Samaritan Daytop Village
Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition
Sedgwick Park Friends & Neighbors
Seton Falls Park Preservation Coalition
Seward Park Conservancy
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness
Staten Island Women Who March
Stewards of Brust Park
Street Trees Super Steward
Survivor I Am / Friends of Bufano Park
Sunset Spark
Sutton Place Parks Conservancy 
Target Bronx Community Garden
The Bronx is Blooming
The Brotherhood Sister Sol
The Connected Chef
The Freshkills Park Alliance
The Kensington Stewards
The Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
The League: A Distinguished Gentlemen's Movement, Inc
The Lowline
The Movement Creative
The Musical Seeds Project
The Nature Conservancy in New York
The New York Landmarks Conservancy 
The Old Stone House and Gardens
The Trust for Public Land
Times Square Alliance
Trust for Governors Island
Union Square Partnership
United Athletic Association
United Nations International School
Uptown & Boogie Bicycle Advocacy
Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Verna L. Judge Garden
Volunteers for Springfield Park, Inc.
W 181st St Beautification Project
Warren Community Garden 
Waterfront Alliance
We Run Brownsville
West 400 Block Association 21st, 22nd & 23rd Streets
West 80s Neighborhood Association
Wetherby-Pembridge School
Wildlife Conservation Society
Women of Woodlawn
Woodlawn Taxpayer Association
Yorkville Sports Association

Thank you to Hydro Flask for their generous donation of reusable water bottles to our coalition as part of their Parks for All program.