End Disparities in New York City Park Budgets


Target: Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine C. Quinn

Goal: Provide the NYC Parks Department with a discretionary budget to ensure equitable and efficient maintenance of city parks.

For small maintenance and improvement projects, the NYC Parks Department relies on “discretionary allocations from City Council Members and Borough Presidents.” This is problematic because politicians have different priorities and beliefs in the value of parks, resulting in significant disparities in the quality and maintenance of parks throughout the city.

The Parks Department should be capable of managing small projects such as new paving and playground renovations independently, and must have their own discretionary budget to achieve this. Parks are vital resources that bind communities together by serving as public green spaces. These spaces are particularly important in a dense, urban metropolis like New York City.

Large parks receive the bulk of administrative funding for improvement projects, while smaller neighborhood parks are excluded. This inequitable system could be improved if park budgets weren’t determined by the varying preferences of local politicians. Inconsistencies in the Parks Department budget also makes it difficult to establish a long-term budget or plans for park improvements.

According to the advocacy group New Yorkers For Parks’ platform, “It is time for the Parks Department’s maintenance budget to reflect the true cost of maintaining, operating and programming all parks properties at a consistently high standard of care.”

We insist that the Parks Department receive their own discretionary budget to provide a high standard of maintenance and ensure the integrity of all NYC parks.


Dear Christine Quinn,

This petition demands greater financial autonomy for the NYC Parks Department to end the disparity in maintenance between parks. This requires providing the Department with their own discretionary budget to manage small-scale projects, rather than depending on allocations from City Council Members and Borough Presidents.

Politicians have differing priorities in terms of the Parks budget, resulting in great fluctuations in the amount of funding they receive.  This process has created an uncertain future for many smaller neighborhood parks that are often ignored for upgrades in funding and improvement projects.

New York City parks serve as highly beneficial public green spaces that connect communities and improve the aesthetics of urban areas. We insist that the NYC Council recognize the value of the Parks Department by providing their own discretionary budget to ensure a high standard of maintenance and integrity for all NYC parks.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: asterix611 via Flickr

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