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New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Department of Parks and Recreation
Logo of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.svg
New York City Parks Department flag.png

Flag of the Parks Department
Department overview
Formed 1910 (1910)
Preceding department
  • New York City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Administration
Jurisdiction New York City
Headquarters 830 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Department executive
Key document

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, also called Parks Department and NYC Parks, is the department of the government of New York City[2] responsible for maintaining the city's parks system, preserving and maintaining the ecological diversity of the city's natural areas, and furnishing recreational opportunities for city's residents and visitors.

The total area of the properties maintained by the department is over 30,000 acres (120 km2).[3]

The department maintains more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. It is responsible for over 1,000 playgrounds, 800 playing fields, 550 tennis courts, 35 major recreation centers, 66 pools, 14 miles (23 km) of beaches, and 13 golf courses, as well as seven nature centers, six ice skating rinks, over 2000 greenstreets and four major stadiums. Parks also cares for park flora and fauna, community gardens, 23 historic houses, over 1,200 statues and monuments, and more than 2.5 million trees.[4]

The City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation produces many special events, including concerts and movie premieres. In the summer, the busiest season, the agency organizes free carnivals and concerts, and sends mobile recreation vans to travel throughout the five boroughs providing free rental equipment for skating, baseball, and miniature golf.

The largest single component of parkland maintained by the department is the "forever wild" Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, with an area of 2,765 acres (11.19 km2).[4] The department is also responsible for such "flagship" parks facilities as Central Park, Prospect Park, Van Cortlandt Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and the Staten Island Greenbelt, though many of these parks are maintained by private, non-profit conservancies.

The symbol of the department is a cross between the leaf of the London plane and a maple leaf. It is prominently featured on signs and buildings in public parks across the city. The London plane tree is on the NYC Parks Department's list of restricted use species for street tree planting because it constitutes more than 10% of all street trees.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • New York City Parks: A 12-Minute Tour
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  • Rockaway Beach, New York - The world's best urban beaches
  • Chess at Union Square, New York City


bjbj Welcome to New York City Parks! I'm Commissioner Adrian Benepe. I'm standing here in historic Battery Park, just steps from the City's first park. Today, New York City has a thriving park system, which has grown to be the largest and most diverse in the nation, and we're committed to making public spaces more accessible and sustainable than ever. Our dedicated professionals and legions of volunteers keep 29,000 acres of New York City clean and green. With playgrounds, recreation centers, historic house museums, swimming pools, ice-skating rinks, and fabulous display gardens, parks enrich everyday life in the city. Our beaches, ballfields, and bike paths are beloved by millions who depend on Parks for their serenity. And we depend on New Yorkers to preserve their vitality. So come out and play, swim, skate, walk, jog or bike in New York City Parks. Right now, Parks is in the largest period of expansion since the 1930s. Across the city, Parks is transforming former landfills, abandoned lots and vacant buildings. 3..2..1..(Cheering)! Where there was once neglect and decay, now there are green oases for active recreation and sustainable living. Recently, the interlinked greenways connect New Yorkers with their waterfront. New parks along the East River, the Bronx River, the Hudson River and the Harlem River enable waterfront access and improve water quality by diminishing storm runoff. Under the City's enlightened Schoolyards to Playgrounds program, asphalt schoolyards, once locked up at 3pm and off-limits to the general public, are, one by one, becoming beautiful playgrounds everyone can use after school and on weekends. Today, we re excited to cut the ribbons on three of these refurbished schoolyards. 1..2..3..(Cheering)! Through PlaNYC's Million Trees Initiative, Parks is planting one million trees over ten years throughout the city. Trees are the workforces of the universe, the workforce of our planet. They do it all-they clean the air, they provide shade, food for wildlife. They increase property values, and they encourage you to get outside. They are beautiful. They re decorative. I love them. I just love them. Parks is as committed to building for the future as it is to preserving the past. In partnership with the Historic House Trust, Parks maintains historic structures and grounds as living museums open to visitors. New York City's Parks hold the greatest collection of outdoor sculpture in the United States. Statues, plaques and triumphal arches, which honor people and events that helped shape the past, are on view 24 hours a day. A team of expert conservators helps preserve the City's cultural and aesthetic legacy. Parks provides opportunities for city dwellers to be physically active. To combat the City's growing rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, Parks is expanding programming at dozens of recreation centers across the city. From free swim instruction, to aerobics, yoga, pilates, and karate, Parks offers classes taught by top professionals which are geared toward everyone from tots to seniors. It is very good for the brain and for the heart. It s good for the blood pressure, the cholesterol. Everything! It teaches youth about the game of basketball as well as teaching them about the game of life. What we try to do is just give the kids a little something to take back with them. This is our way of giving back, and hopefully they ll take something from here. Universally accessible, state-of-the-art, indoor and outdoor pools, ballfields, running tracks, ice skating rinks, tennis courts, golf courses, and skate-parks provide recreational opportunities in every season. s important to have space for kids to play. s important to have these parks available and accessible for kids, and I think it makes a huge difference in the community. Millions of families take part in festivals hosted by Parks. Hi, I m Shaun White. We are here at East River Park, and we re doing the Red Bull Snow Scrapers. Some other favorites include Adventures NYC in Central Park, the Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park, and Street Games in Thomas Jefferson Park. Annual athletic events from the City-wide Bocce tournament and the Mayor's Cup Cricket tournament to the New York City Marathon draw world-class competitors and spectators from across the globe to our parks each year. The City Parks Foundation's Summer Stage , and The Public Theaters' Shakespeare in the Park are both mainstays of the summer lineup of free entertainment. A full schedule of outdoor performances throughout the City draws crowds upwards of 100,000 spectators to marquee headliners, while smaller neighborhood parks showcase dancers, singers and actors for local audiences. For us to be able to come out here to the parks and just do a free concert for the people that s incredible. It s a great feeling. Managing more than 29,000 acres requires a momentous effort on the part of Parks staff and hard-working volunteers. Parks is committed to cultivating land, along with the next generation of green collar workers and responsible stewards. The internationally recognized Parks Opportunity Program, known as POP, is the largest and most comprehensive welfare-to-work program in the United States. Career counselors train temporary workers, teach them job skills, and help them find employment. We have the ability to identify individual s talents and not just in the classroom, but also on the worksite. We focus a lot to really build up all around employability. We do a lot of work around conflict resolution, around customer service, around professionalism. So many bad things were happening around me, and I didn t really see myself going anywhere. Once I started getting into the POP program, I actually did start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Urban Park Rangers operate out of nature centers in every borough and engage with the public through guided tours of the woods and wildlife within parks. Children enrolled in Junior Ranger Summer camp are exposed to the natural splendor of the city through organized canoe trips, overnight camping, and fishing expeditions. Public Private Partnerships, pioneered by the Central Park Conservancy and reaffirmed by groups like The New York Restoration Project, The Prospect Park Alliance, the City Parks Foundation, and smaller Friends of groups, are integral to the care and maintenance of the city's parks. Partnerships for Parks is an organization that recruits and supports individuals and groups who contribute to their communities by focusing on parks, logging over 2 million volunteer hours annually, Technology allows Parks to streamline property management and track equipment and personnel by utilizing cutting-edge GPS and custom software to pioneer and refine operations. The Parks Inspection Program, a ratings system that tracks performance in the field, helps monitor and guarantee clean safe parks. The Parks website,, is our 24/7 connection to everyone everywhere. The website's breadth of content matches the tremendous size of NYC's parks system. With maps, schedules, a citywide events calendar, and information updated continually, it's no wonder that the site receives over 1 and a half million page views per month. The Parks broadcast television program It's My Park airs on local television, and streams on YouTube, helping keep viewers informed of countless opportunities in which to take part. Parks continues the 19th Century legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who designed gems like Central Park and Prospect Park, and the impressive Works Progress Administration projects of the 20th century. In the early years of the 21st century, Parks is expanding rapidly, this time with a focus on accessibility and sustainability. With Brooklyn Bridge Park newly opened, the setting from which to marvel at the New York skyline is now as beautiful as the view. New parks and facilities have opened all over the city, and with more to come, New Yorkers have more options than ever before. The Highline, transformed from an abandoned elevated railway, is one example. This park in the sky preserves the city's architectural fabric while, paving the way of the future. See you in the parks! h~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G gd~ G [Content_Types].xml Iw}, $yi} _rels/.rels theme/theme/themeManager.xml sQ}# theme/theme/theme1.xml w toc'v )I`n 3Vq%'#q :\TZaG L+M2 e\O* $*c? )6-r IqbJ#x ,AGm T[XF64 E)`# R>QD =(K& =al- 4vfa 0%M0 theme/theme/_rels/themeManager.xml.rels 6?$Q K(M&$R(.1 [Content_Types].xmlPK _rels/.relsPK theme/theme/themeManager.xmlPK theme/theme/theme1.xmlPK theme/theme/_rels/themeManager.xml.relsPK <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?> <a:clrMap xmlns:a="" bg1="lt1" tx1="dk1" bg2="lt2" tx2="dk2" accent1="accent1" accent2="accent2" accent3="accent3" accent4="accent4" accent5="accent5" accent6="accent6" hlink="hlink" folHlink="folHlink"/> claire.bachman Normal claire.bachman Microsoft Office Word NYCDPR Title Microsoft Office Word 97-2003 Document MSWordDoc Word.Document.8



The department is a mayoral agency. The current Parks Commissioner is Mitchell Silver. The current chair of the New York City Council Committee on Parks & Recreation is Mark D. Levine.[5]

The department is allocated an expense budget and a capital budget. The expense budget covers the total expenses incurred by the agency, including salaries. The capital budget is dedicated solely for new construction projects, as well as major repairs in parks that have a useful life of more than five years and cost at least $35,000.

Its regulations are compiled in Title 56 of the New York City Rules.[6]


  • Commissioner of Parks & Recreation
    • First Deputy Commissioner
      • Deputy Commissioner for Capital Projects
      • Assistant Commissioner for Public Programs
        • Assistant Commissioner for Recreation and Programming
        • Assistant Commissioner for Urban Park Services
      • Deputy Commissioner for Management and Budget
        • Assistant Commissioner for Budget and Fiscal Management
        • Assistant Commissioner for Revenue and Marketing
      • Deputy Commissioner for Community Outreach
      • Assistant Commissioner for Citywide Operations
      • Assistant Commissioner for Community Relations
      • Assistant Commissioner for Forestry and Horticulture
      • Assistant Commissioner for Not-for-Profit Partnerships
      • Assistant Commissioner for Planning and Natural Resources
      • Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Partnerships
      • Borough Commissioners
        • Bronx Commissioner
        • Brooklyn Commissioner
        • Manhattan Commissioner
        • Queens Commissioner
        • Staten Island Commissioner

Park law enforcement

The department maintains an enforcement division, called the Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP), responsible for maintaining safety and security within the parks system. Parks Enforcement Patrol officers have peace officer status under NYS Penal Law and are empowered through this status to make arrests and issue tickets. PEP officers patrol land, waterways and buildings under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation on foot, bicycle, horseback, boat and marked patrol trucks. PEP officers are also responsible for physical site inspections of NYC park concession facilities to assure the concessionaires compliance with state laws.[7]

Urban Park Rangers

The Urban Park Rangers was founded as a pilot program in 1979 by then Parks Commissioner Gordon J. Davis, with the support and encouragement of Mayor Ed Koch. The program provides many free programs year-round, such as nature walks and activities. They also operate programs such as The Natural Classroom for class trips and the general public alike. "Explorer" programs are available for activities such as canoeing in the city's flagship parks in all five boroughs. NYC Urban Park Rangers are easily identified by their uniforms.[8]

Although NYC Park Rangers possess peace officer status, their primary mission is environmental education, protection of park resources, and visitor safety. Law enforcement in city parks is the responsibility of the New York City Police Department.


Most businesses that operate or generate revenue on New York City parkland are considered concessions and must obtain a permit or license from the Revenue Division of Parks. Pursuant to the City's Concession Rules, these licenses and permits are generally awarded through a public solicitation process, such as a Request for Bids (RFB) or Request for Proposals (RFP).[9]

Approximately 500 concessions currently operate in parks throughout the five boroughs, and they generally fall into two categories: food service and recreation. The food service concessions range from pushcarts selling hot dogs to restaurants such as Tavern on the Green and Terrace on the Park. Recreational concessions include facilities such as ice rinks, stables, marinas, and golf courses. In fiscal year 2009, the Revenue Division of the Parks Department helped collect over $110 million in revenue from various sources including concessions, lease agreements, like those for Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, special events, and dockage.[10]

Wright vs. Stern

In 2001, the department underwent an investigation after the U.S Attorney's Office received complaints from employees that they had suffered employment discrimination. The lawsuit alleged that the Parks Department violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against employees on the basis of their race and/or national origin in making promotion decisions. According to the Complaint, the Parks Department's senior managers sought out and promoted whites to management positions without announcing job openings for those positions or conducting any formal interview process, all in plain disregard of the Parks Department's own stated equal employment opportunity policies. From at least 1995, minorities have been significantly under-represented in the Parks Department's managerial ranks according to the Complaint. The judge had ruled that the plaintiffs had presented substantial evidence to merit a trial on the allegations of class-wide discrimination in pay, promotions and retaliation. In 2008, the City of New York agreed to pay $21 million to settle the federal class action lawsuit. By agreeing to settle the claims, the City avoided a trial on the allegations.[11]

List of Park Commissioners

Since 1934, when New York City Parks Department Commissioners were unified, the directors have been:[12]

Portrait Named individual Start date End date Tenure Mayor(s) served under
Robert Moses head shot.jpg
Moses, RobertRobert Moses January 18, 1934 May 23, 1960 26 years, 4 months Fiorello H. La Guardia
William O'Dwyer
Vincent R. Impellitteri
Robert F. Wagner Jr.
Morris, NewboldNewbold Morris May 24, 1960 January 15, 1966 5 years, 8 months Robert F. Wagner Jr.
Hoving, ThomasThomas Hoving January 16, 1966 March 15, 1967 1 year, 3 months John V. Lindsay
Heckscher, AugustAugust Heckscher March 16, 1967 December 31, 1972 5 years, 9 months John V. Lindsay
Clurman, Richard M.Richard M. Clurman January 1, 1973 December 31, 1973 1 year John V. Lindsay
Weisl, Jr., Edwin L.Edwin L. Weisl, Jr. January 1, 1974 September 22, 1975 1 year, 9 months Abraham Beame
Wirin, AlexanderAlexander Wirin September 23, 1975 December 28, 1975 3 months Abraham Beame
Lang, MartinMartin Lang January 1, 1976 June 30, 1977 1 year, 6 months Abraham Beame
Davidson, Joseph P.Joseph P. Davidson July 2, 1977 January 20, 1978 6 months Abraham Beame
Gordon Jamison Davis.png
Davis, Gordon J.Gordon J. Davis January 23, 1978 April 1, 1983 5 years, 3 months Ed Koch
NLN Henry Stern.jpg
Stern, Henry J.Henry J. Stern April 2, 1983 February 4, 1990 6 years, 10 months Ed Koch
Gotbaum, Elisabeth F.Elisabeth F. Gotbaum February 5, 1990 December 31, 1993 3 years, 11 months David Dinkins
NLN Henry Stern.jpg
Stern, Henry J.Henry J. Stern January 1, 1994 February 3, 2002 8 years, 1 month Rudolph Giuliani
Adrian Benepe.jpg
Benepe, AdrianAdrian Benepe February 4, 2002 August 29, 2012 10 years, 6 months Michael Bloomberg
White, Veronica M.Veronica M. White August 30, 2012 December 31, 2013 1 year, 4 months Michael Bloomberg
Kavanagh, LiamLiam Kavanagh January 1, 2014 May 12, 2014 5 months (Acting) Bill de Blasio
Silver, MitchellMitchell Silver May 12, 2014 Incumbent Bill de Blasio

See also


  1. ^ Foderaro, Lisa (March 20, 2014). "North Carolina Planner Named to Head New York City Parks Dept". NYTimes. Retrieved March 22, 2014. 
  2. ^ New York City Charter § 531; "There shall be a department of parks and recreation the head of which shall be the commissioner of parks and recreation."
  3. ^ "About Parks : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Frequently Asked Questions : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ Chiwaya, Nigel (Jan 23, 2014). "Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine Tapped to Lead Council Committees". DNAinfo. Archived from the original on February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Rules & Regulations : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Park Enforcement Patrol : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Urban Park Rangers : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Concessions Opportunities : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  10. ^ "Concessions : NYC Parks". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Wright v. Stern: NYC Parks Case | NAACP LDF". Retrieved January 20, 2016. 
  12. ^ "New York City Parks Commissioners : NYC Parks". New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 

External links

This page was last edited on 11 March 2018, at 23:26.
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