In Morningside Park, Residents See Both Good and Bad in Corporate Sponsorship
Monday, June 11, 2012 - 06:13 PM
Harlem residents have mixed feelings about corporate sponsorship of dog runs and basketball courts in Morningside Park. Though they welcome the improvements the funding from the parks department’s project will bring, some say they’re not keen about privatization of public spaces.
“I sort of like the idea of this as a stopgap measure to make up for lost revenue,” resident David Blakesley said. “But at the same time I don’t really like the idea of this being a foot in the door and for the next 30, 40, 50 years every park has Pepsi plastered all over the place. So in principle I’m not completely opposed, but I can’t imagine this would be done in a way that is not disagreeable.”
The NYC Parks Department on Friday put out a request for proposals allowing companies, foundations or individuals to bid on naming 631 basketball courts and 55 dog runs. It is hoping to raise $5 million through the sponsorship.
Morningside Park, in particular, could use some major upgrades to its dog run. Harlem resident Arielle Goldman, 29, said though parks should cater to the public, if corporate sponsorship results in better facilities, it’s a compromise she’s willing to make.
"It would be nice if the dog run could be a little nicer. The mulch is kind of gross and the dogs get dirty from running around," Goldman said. “I'm not in favor of privatizing the parks, but maybe if Pepsi or someone's name was on it they'll want to keep it cleaner. It’s not like there’s not billboards everywhere.”