Parks provide critical support for healthy, flourishing communities, and every New Yorker deserves a park that enhances their quality of life and sense of belonging.
However, positive impacts of parks only emerge when the spaces feel alive – active parks form hubs of local well-being and vibrance, while unused parks can become unsafe spaces, especially for girls and women.
New York City is home to nearly two thousand parks, which together make up a land area the size of San Francisco. These green spaces are vital for local wellbeing, safety, and environmental resilience – research shows increased exposure to green space decreases crime, improves mental health, and slows epigenetic aging, among many other things.
Spaces like Central Park, Little Island, and The High Line have become worldwide models of urban green space, but paint an incomplete picture of parks in New York City. Unfortunately, not all parks in New York City are supported equally, with many lacking the resources they need to thrive. The hundreds of small parks spread throughout the outer boroughs are just as critical as their larger counterparts – but our current park funding system does not sufficiently invest in these spaces, leaving many small parks unwelcoming and even unsafe for girls, women, and other community members.
We believe there is significant opportunity for private funding to bridge the gap for these parks, while continuing to highlight the ultimate responsibilities of public institutions to sustain healthy parks for all.