Primer on Parks
NY4P sharing open space resources at a Summer Streets event
NY4P sharing open space resources at a Summer Streets event

Multiple organizations are a part of the NYC parks world, all playing separate but important roles. This page explains the difference between New Yorkers for Parks, the NYC Parks Department, and the many other organizations that contribute to a thriving parks system in NYC.

New Yorkers for Parks 

We are the independent nonprofit research and advocacy organization that advocates for parks and open spaces citywide. We create tools and resources that New Yorkers can use to improve their open spaces. These resources include our in-depth data and research, advocacy guides, and events.

NYC Parks staff at Mill Pond Park in the Bronx
NYC Parks staff at Mill Pond Park in the Bronx

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation - NYC Parks

NYC Parks is the city government agency that manages the over 2,000 parks and nearly 30,000 acres of parkland in New York City. NYC Parks is funded entirely by public dollars, money the city receives through taxes and other sources.

Partnerships for Parks - PfP

PfP is a public-private non-profit organization born from a partnership between NYC Parks and the City Parks Foundation. PfP provides education, staff support, and small grants to grassroots groups that maintain and improve local parks, playgrounds, and other open spaces.

New York Restoration Project - NYRP

NYRP works in public parks, public housing, schools, and the 52 community gardens they own across the city. They've worked with NYC Parks on major revitalization projects in four major parks in upper Manhattan, and provide free education, community events, and tree giveaways.

Park Conservancies 

Park conservancies raise private money in the form of donations from individuals and organizations, to supplement what a park receives from the city. This money is used to fund maintenance, as well as capital projects such as play equipment or landscaping. The Central Park Conservancy and Prospect Park Alliance are two of the most well-known conservancies in the city, but there are many more in a wide range of sizes in all five boroughs.

Volunteer "Friends Of" Parks Groups

Volunteer groups vary widely in both size and mission. They typically clean up trash, help maintain the landscape, and host community events. We encourage all grassroots groups to get in touch with our team and to join our email newsletter.


Parks Funding - Who Pays for Parks and How?

NYC Parks receives an average 0.5% of the annual NYC budget to cover the cost of staff, equipment, investment in new or existing amenities, and more. NYC Parks will occasionally receive special funding from the mayor or City Council for specific projects, such as the creation of new parkland.

NYC Parks receives two types of funding: capital and operating. Capital is for physical investments, such as playground equipment, bathrooms or "comfort stations," and heavy equipment such as large vehicles. 

The operating budget primarily goes to staffing costs and maintenance.