Celebrating a historic parks budget—and planning for the fight ahead.
Thanks to our collective advocacy, Mayor Adams and the City Council passed a budget with historic parks funding. At $624M, it is the largest NYC Parks budget ever, surpassing last year’s record.
This is a significant investment in parks and parks workers, with 715 new permanent NYC Parks jobs, City Council funding to expand parks equity and preserve natural areas, and renewed funding for gardeners. And while we did not get 1% of the budget for parks, the Mayor has repeatedly and publicly reaffirmed his commitment to that goal.
However, while this budget indicates clear progress, the parks department remains underfunded and understaffed, with direct consequences for our parks and open spaces and all who use them.
Despite the new baselined jobs, NYC Parks lost 250 positions due to mandated PEG cuts at the beginning of the year, and the City Council did not renew funding for 230 essential Play Fair positions, amounting to nearly 500 jobs lost for the next fiscal year. In addition, funding for the hundreds of federally funded Clean Up Corps positions, critical to meeting the increased maintenance demand brought by unprecedented park usage, was not renewed.
With your help, we will continue to hold Mayor Adams to his visionary commitment to 1% for Parks and advocate for an equitable and resilient parks system. Thank you to our Play Fair co-founders, DC37 and NYLCV. And a special shout out to Parks Committee Chair Shekar Krishnan.