Looking Back on Our Work in 2020

NY4P Year in Review

2020 was marked by many challenges, but even as New Yorkers navigated a pandemic, recession, and national racial reckoning, we came together in historic numbers and found refuge in our parks and open spaces.

When the Parks Department budget faced historic cuts and suffered from decreased maintenance, when access was limited to smaller parks and playgrounds, and when those most affected were the communities that have long been the most excluded from public resources, NY4P was here every step of the way: speaking out, rallying communities, and ensuring that parks are part of the citywide recovery and conversation. And we saw results.

Challenges remain, but with an invigorated movement to protect parks and with your support, we will be there to tackle them. Please consider joining us by making a gift to us before December 31st.

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Parks Equity and COVID-19

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we knew that an equitable parks system was vital to the health and well-being of all New Yorkers, but this past year emphasized just how indispensable access to quality open space is for public mental, physical, and social health. This fact was the cornerstone of our work in 2020. 

  • As racism in public spaces came into the spotlight, we took a stand, and will continue to center equity and anti-racism in our work.

Recovery and Open Spaces

We began to plan for New York’s recovery and how the Power of Parks can play a role in a better future for our city post-pandemic.

  • We sent a letter to the de Blasio administration urging the city to unfreeze capital funding for parks projects so that the city can continue to improve and create open spaces, protect park jobs, and stimulate the economy.
  • Our Executive Director Adam Ganser testified at the New York City Council hearing on parks and equity and laid out short-term and long-term solutions for the City to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to open space.
  • We supported park cleanup efforts across the city, including a citywide day of service, as a way to maintain our parks despite dire budget cuts and decreased staff.

Looking ahead to 2021

As we plan for the year ahead, we look forward to building our research, advocacy, and partnerships as we champion quality open space for all New Yorkers. Make sure to follow NY4P on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more updates.

  • In January, we will host two virtual panels on “Park Infrastructure to Revitalize New York” and “Parks and Big Capital Project Initiatives.” We look forward to discussing these big-picture parks ideas with other environmental and open space advocates.
  • Our updated Open Space Profiles will go live very soon! Now geographically organized by Community Board, these new Profiles will also offer public health and demographic data so we can continue to address social and economic disparities in our park system. In the meantime, you can find your City Council District profile from 2015 here.

Your support will help us bring attention and change to park inequities in New York City as we enter the new year. Please consider joining us in our efforts by making a gift today. Thank you for your consideration.

We wish you happy holidays – may this New Year bring better moments for us all to share!

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