Tupper Thomas to leave New Yorkers for Parks
February 2, 2016
By Dana Rubinstein
Tupper Thomas has announced she will leave New Yorkers for Parks, roughly two years after she left retirement to run the organization.
"Now I believe the time has come to think about the long-term future of [New Yorkers for Parks], and with that, to find a great leader to capably take the organization into its next chapter," she said in a letter sent Friday to the board of New York's principal parks advocacy, acquired by POLITICO New York. "While I intend to retire in the coming months, I believe that identifying the perfect Executive Director is the last key priority to complete my tenure here."
Thomas was the founding president of the Prospect Park Alliance, and she oversaw the 580-acre greensward and its revitalization for more than two decades until 2011.
At New Yorkers for Parks, she has, among other things, pressured the Parks Departmentto complete capital projects in a more timely manner, and sharply questionedMayor Bill de Blasio's plan to house a diminished horse carriage industry in Central Park.
In an interview, Thomas said the executive director position is "a lot of job," one that requires more than the four-days-a-week commitment she was giving it, particularly in light of the upcoming elections.
"We want to have all the grassroots support by 2017, so we have council members being quizzed about, 'What will you do for parks?' and the mayoral candidates quizzed about, 'What you will do for parks?'" she said.
"And I’m certainly not going to get lost in the world," she added. "I’ll be right out there writing letters and harassing my elected officials."
In her letter, Thomas said she and the organization's board have created a search committee to find a new executive director. And she warns that the housing crisis and the administration's push for increased density pose challenges for New York City's parks.
"[I]f we want to remain the best city in the world...we have to prioritize open space," she wrote.
Read the letter here:http://politi.co/1QYVDRp