By May Frost
July 5, 2023
This year, our city will spend more money on the NYPD’s overtime budget than our entire 30,000-acre park system. And the Parks Department continues to be outpaced by other city agencies. New York City’s parks should be the best in the world, but we invest in what we prioritize — this budget once again showed that the administration is not prioritizing the Mayor’s promise to provide adequate funding for critical parks maintenance and operations.
Recognizing our greenspaces are essential to the economic vitality and environmental resiliency of our city, and the health and wellbeing of all New Yorkers, the City Council pushed against the administration’s proposed budget cuts, seeking 1,000 new, permanent jobs that are urgently needed to keep our parks clean, safe and accessible.
We thank the Council for its negotiations to secure 100 new positions and funding an additional 50 temporary staff, while also emphasizing that park staffing still remains lower than pre-pandemic levels. Knowing the Council’s commitment and hopeful that the ‘Get Stuff Done’ Mayor will follow through on the commitment he reiterated this year to dedicate 1% of the city budget to NYC Parks, greenspace advocates, and those seeking a more equitable and just city will continue the work to hold our leaders accountable.”
FACTS & FIGURES to ponder:
Due to decades of disinvestment, NYC Parks are underfunded
And this consistent underfunding of Parks has an outsized effect on lower-income neighborhoods
Parks in lower-income neighborhoods depend solely on public funding, while parks in more affluent neighborhoods benefit from private investment and conservancies; Manhattan (the borough with the most conservancies) recorded a 1% uptick in overall conditions ratings between 2019 and 2020. By comparison, the Bronx saw a 5% dip in overall cleanliness between 2019 and 2020 and was still 4% below 2019 rating averages by 2022.
Funding 1% for Parks — as Mayor Adams has continuously promised — would have an immensely positive impact on the physical and mental well-being of every New Yorker, as well as the resiliency of our beloved City