Parks Equity, Big and Small

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Riverside Park Riverside Park (Ed Yourdon/Wikipedia Commons)

Mark D. Levine, New York City Councilman (D-7) and chair of the parks committee, talks about his proposal to increase funding for city parks, and what it means that the increase wasn't included in the mayor's proposed budget. Plus: the role of private parks conservancies in bridging the funding gap.


Mark D. Levine

Comments [21]

Christina Taylor from Bronx, NY

Please sign our online petition urging the Mayor to keep the additional $27 million that the City Council added to the Parks budget.

May. 15 2014 12:47 PM
db from McKarren Park Greenpoint/Williamsburg Bkln

McKarren pk in Greenpoint/Williamsburg Bkln needs more grass for people to sit on especially around the soccer field, there was grass but volley ball players turned areas into dirt and it has never been reseaded. Volley ball should have it's own area and not kill grass that everyone could enjoy.

May. 13 2014 06:17 PM
Christina Taylor from Bronx, NY

Thank you for mentioning Van Cortlandt Park and especially it's unique position of being one of the Flagship parks but still being underfunded. In addition to the relatively new Conservancy. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park have been working for over 20 years to raise funding for our beautiful park. However, without being bordered by Central Park West and 5th Avenue- it is much more difficult for us to raise significant funds. It truly is a shame since we are much better at stretching the dollar. I can only dream about all the wonderful things that would happen if one individual donated $100 million to us.

May. 13 2014 03:29 PM
Max from The Bronx

Thanks so much to Mark Levine for his mention of the current plight of the Riverdale Equestrian Center - please voice your support for the center staying open for the summer so it can continue to provide theraputic riding services for our community's special needs children, our active work-to-ride volunteer program, summer camp and lesson program. Check out the full story and our petition here:

May. 13 2014 12:43 PM
Doug Condit from The Bronx

In 2004, after skateboarders requested a skate park, CB7 requested a skate park for skateboarders be built in Williamsbridge Oval Park. Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg siad in a joint appearance that one would be built using Croton filtration funds. It is now 2014, Croton funds have been spent and there is no skate park. Would appreciate building a safe, secure skate park be constructed for the skateboarders in CB7.

May. 13 2014 10:40 AM
Jean Ehni

Expand the Park Ranger Programs. I've attended programs @ Ft. Toten, Forest Park & met a ranger on beach in Far Rockaway checking out nesting areas for endangered Piping Plovers. Programs are free, interesting, educational and great for kids. Also not many people know about these programs, so more outreach is needed.

May. 13 2014 10:38 AM
NYC Harlem

How about some picnic tables in Harlem River Park (btw 135th and 138th streets).

May. 13 2014 10:27 AM
genejoke from Brooklyn

Check out Owl's Head Park (Colonial Rd, 68th St.) if you find yourself in Sunset Park/Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It's huge and lovely with rolling hills and a very friendly vibe.
My favorite corner of Owl's Head is Millenium Skatepark, which offers a massive six-foot deep combi-bowl for skating and BMX.
Good times for all!

May. 13 2014 10:19 AM
Margaret from Queens

It is illegal to take a designated donation and apply it to purposes other than that which the donor specified. HOWEVER, budget money is fungible. If Central Park is receiving $100 million from a billionaire who needs to whitewash his reputation, than that frees up city budget money to be applied to city parks other than Central Park.

May. 13 2014 10:18 AM
uws100 from uws

Suggestion: Have "conservancy parks" (e.g. Central Pk) with wealthy surrounding neighborhoods PARTNER w/large parks that do NOT (e.g. Van Cortlandt Park), with a certain percentage (say 5-10%) of funds raised for wealthy park (e.g. Cent. Pk) going towards other park (e.g. VC Pk). This ensures large parks w/modest-income neighborhoods, but who serve a strong community function, "share the wealth" w/sister park whose neighbors have "deeper pockets". Esp. for VC Pk ... i'm sure there are some "deep-pocketed" neighbors who travel north to play the Golf Course @ VC Park!

May. 13 2014 10:17 AM
Barbara from Brooklyn Heights Promenade

My neighborhood park is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Last year (just around the start of the CitiBike program) the signs prohibiting bike riding on the Promenade were removed. In EVERY city park bike riding is prohibited on pedestrian walkways (aka Promenades). Now there are hordes of tour groups and tourists and, I'm sure, some residents who use the Promenade for bike riding.

How can we get the signs back and the prohibition enforced?

Thank you.

May. 13 2014 10:16 AM

@hjs, "rent a cops" may not do much, but just having them there deters crime, right down to littering. do you really want that to go away? their price is peanuts compared to what the crime would cost without them. why so harsh?

May. 13 2014 10:14 AM

Now that Washington Sq. Park has installed a stealth and illegal conservancy, will it not qualify for these funds? That sux!

May. 13 2014 10:11 AM
lk from fort greene

Cuylor Gore Park in Fort Greene needs attention. The design was never great and now it looks run down when it should be a great neighborhood park.

Also, I hope he takes a hard look at The Brooklyn Bridge Park and its plan to add two highrises taking up valuable park space and that would be built in a flood zone guarenteed to flood as it did in Sandy. Water rose 14 feet during Sandy.

May. 13 2014 10:10 AM

He wants to hire more rent a cops to play on their cell phones on tax dollars?

May. 13 2014 10:09 AM

Who might be designing + supervising these parks capital projects for $80 millions? I sure hope these projects be led by Voluntary COMMUNITY + NOT by Parks Dept.
Thank you. ~K

May. 13 2014 10:09 AM
Sarita from East New York, Brooklyn

This is badly needed - both operating and capital budget. The bathrooms in Schenck Playground (in East NY) has not been working for years.

May. 13 2014 10:08 AM
Uncle Leo from Queens

Did you know that this New York City councilman is working with your cousin Jeffrey? He's doing really well!

May. 13 2014 10:07 AM
Gabrielle from Washingotn Heights

We live right beside Higbridge Park and love using the park as often as we can. We most often use the newish dog run near w 192 street. We also love to explore the trails on weekends in the w 180's but often run into syringes and other drug paraphernalia closest to McNally Plaza. We think more needs to be done to deter drug users and to keep the area free of drug use remnants.

May. 13 2014 10:07 AM
Inquisigal from Brooklyn

Hello, great segment!

My local park, Saratoga Park in East Bed-Stuy on Howard/Halsey/Saratoga/Macon streets could use some funds and love.

1. Fix the fencing along the walkways inside the park. Many sections are bent or missing due to trees falling on it.

2. Fence in one of the many areas in the park for an official dog run. Many, many dogs and dog owners use this park, and having a safe, fenced in, off-leash area would be extremely useful.

3. Fund more plantings in the park; flowers, shrubs, etc.

This is a beautiful park used by many residents of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick.

May. 13 2014 10:06 AM
Jenna from Hamilton Heights

Our area is so thankful to have Mark Levine raising awareness of this issue. As a resident of upper manhattan, we suffer greatly when compared to parks downtown in every way including maintenance, sanitation, and programming. Public parks are public, and there absolutely should be greater quality.
Spending Parks Money: better sanitation, more flowers and tree maintenance in upper Riverside Park

May. 13 2014 10:06 AM

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