​Letter from the Play Fair Coalition and City Council to Mayor Adams

Click here to view the full letter as a pdf

May 13, 2022

Honorable Eric Adams

Mayor of the City of New York

New York City Hall

New York, New York 10007

Dear Mayor Adams: 

On the campaign trail, you earned widespread support from voters by publicly committing to fund the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) at 1% of the city budget. Stating that “an equitable parks system starts with funding for the agency and accessibility for New Yorkers,” you recognized the urgent need to reverse decades of underinvestment in our city’s parks system.

However, your FY23 executive budget fails to deliver on that promise. Instead, although you propose to baseline hundreds of new positions, for which we are grateful, you have proposed reducing the NYC Parks budget, which directly translates to a net reduction in agency staff working on our parks and cuts to critical operations.  New Yorkers and our parks and open spaces deserve more.

Today, we implore you to make good on your commitment and allocate 1% of the budget for NYC Parks. The 400+ organizations of the Play Fair Coalition, co-founded by the NYC Council Parks Committee, New Yorkers for Parks, New York League of Conservation Voters, and DC 37, are joined by 25 members of the New York City Council (The Council) in this request. 

Raising parks funding from 0.6 to 1% of the budget is the bare minimum required for adequate staffing, maintenance, and parks planning to ensure that our parks are equitable, safe, clean, and accessible for all New Yorkers. This is critically important as the city gears up for another summer of increased demand and need for open spaces. 

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relationship between parks equity, public health and public safety—putting in stark relief what advocates have long understood: parks and open spaces are critical infrastructure and must be funded as such. New Yorkers of color are still significantly less likely to have access to parks and open spaces; 1% for parks is the first step toward park equity and a long-overdue 21st century parks system in New York City.

Thank you for supporting our city’s parks, and we look forward to continuing to work together on a budget that Plays Fair for Parks. 


Adam Ganser

New Yorkers for Parks

Julie Tighe

New York League of Conservation Voters

Henry Garrido 

DC 37

and members of the City Council:

Shekar Krishnan

Chair, Committee on Parks and Recreation

Vanessa L. Gibson

Bronx Borough President

Mark Levine

Manhattan Borough President

Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Borough President

Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President

Alexa Avilés

Council Member, District 38

Erik Bottcher

Council Member, District 3

Gale Brewer

Council Member, District 6

Selvena Brooks-Powers

Council Member, District 31

Tiffany Cabán

Council Member, District 22

Carmen De La Rosa

Council Member, District 10

Eric Dinowitz

Council Member, District 11

James F. Gennaro

Council Member, District 24

Jennifer Gutierrez

Council Member, District 34

Shahana Hanif

Council Member, District 39

Robert Holden

Council Member, District 30

Farah Louis

Council Member, District 45

Julie Menin

Council Member, District 5

Christopher Marte

Council Member, District 1

Mercedes Narcisse

Council Member, District 46

Sandy Nurse

Council Member, District 37

Chi Ossé

Council Member, District 36

Keith Powers

Council Member, District 4

Lincoln Restler

Council Member, District 33

Kevin Riley

Council Member, District 12

Carlina Rivera

Council Member, District 2

Althea Stevens

Council Member, District 16

Rafael Salamanca

Council Member, District 17

Sandra Ung

Council Member, District 20

Nantasha Williams

Council Member, District 27

along with 400+ members of the Play Fair Coalition

10th & Stuyvesant Streets Block Association

142nd St. Dog Run

18th Street Brooklyn Block Association

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

Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Alliance for Kips Bay

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 

Broadway Mall Association

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 

Brookfield Civic Association 

Brooklyn Greenway Initiative 

Brooklyn Parks & Open Space Coalition 

Brooklyn Queens Land Trust 

Buenavista Futbol Club Inc. 

BUFNY II/Harlem Tenants Association 

CABS Home Care 

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 

Clean Bushwick Initiative 

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 Association 

Conference House Park Conservancy Inc. 

Cortelyou Road Merchant Assocation (CORMA) 

Cosmopolitan Jr. Soccer League 

Court Square Civic Association 

Davey Resource Group, Inc. 

DC37 Retirees Association 

Design Trust for Public Space 

Different Directions 


Douglaston Local Development Corporation 

Downtown Alliance 

Downtown Brooklyn Partnership 

Downtown United Soccer Club 

Drew Gardens 

Drew Gardens Educational Recreation 

Dunbar Garden Council 

Earth Avengers 

Earth Matter NY Inc. 

Earth Ministry of the Church of the Mediator 

East NY 4 Gardens 

Edgemere Coalition Community Garden 

Edso Sports, Inc. 

El Garden Bushwick 

El Jardín del Paraíso

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 Aqueduct Walk 

Friends of Art Park Alliance 

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 Crocheron & John Golden Park

Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 

Friends of Ewen Park 

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 John Hancock 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 Sherman Creek Conservancy 

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 

Fort Greene Tennis Association (FGTA)


Garden Train 

Genesis Community Garden 

Girl Scout Troop 3205 

Girl Scouts of Greater New York 

Good and Green 

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 

Historic House Trust of New York City

Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York 

Hudson River Park Friends 

Hunters Point Civic Association 

Hunters Point Parks Conservancy 

Hutchinson River Restoration Project 

Inwood Hill Park Conservancy 

Inwood Rotary Club 

Jackson Heights Beautification Group 

Jacob H. Schiff Playground Neighborhood Association 

Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy 

Jardín 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 

Lily Auchincloss Foundation 

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 

Marine Park Alliance

Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center 

Melrose New Generation 

Miracle Garden 

Morris-Jumel Mansion 

Morris Park BID 

Morton Street Block Association 

Municipal Art Society 

Myrtle Ave BID 


National Parks Conservation Association 

Natural Areas Conservancy 

New York Botanical Garden 

New York Climate Save 

New York Junior Tennis & Learning 

New York League of Conservation Voters

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 

Queensboro Dance Festival 

Randall's Island Park Alliance 

Red Hook Conservancy 

Red Hook West Resident Association, Inc. 

Red Shed Community Garden 

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 

Safe Zone Cross Culture Youth 

Samaritan Daytop Village 

Sara D. Roosevelt Park Coalition 

Sedgwick Park Friends & Neighbors

Seton Falls Park Preservation Coalition 

Seward Park Conservancy 

Sidewalk Labs 

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 

SWIM Coalition NYC

Target Bronx Community Garden 

Team Spartan Spades 

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 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 

Tinker Tree Play/Care 

Total Equity Now Harlem 

Transportation Alternatives 

Trust for Governors Island 


Union Square Partnership 

United Athletic Association 

United Nations International School 

United We Stand Garden 


Upper Green Side 

Uptown & Boogie Bicycle Advocacy 

Van Cortlandt Park Alliance 

Verna L. Judge Garden 

Volunteers for Isham Park 

Volunteers for Springfield Park, Inc. 

W 181st St Beautification Project 

Warren Community Garden 

Washington Square Park Conservancy

Washington Square Park Eco Projects 

Waterfront Alliance 

WE ACT for Environmental Justice 

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 

Young Buck Sports

Click here to view the full letter as a pdf