Riverside Park Advocacy

While Riverside Park Conservancy raises private funds to support the care and improvement of the Park, we also advocate for the City to make critical investments in the Park’s infrastructure. In recent years we have successfully secured large allocations for much-needed repairs, and we will continue

1. $4.1 million for the restoration of various pathways

2. $11.5 million for drainage infrastructure and pathways

3. $348 million for the roof of the Amtrak tunnel “the Overbuild”

City-Wide Advocacy

NY4P Play Fair Coalition

  • Parks cover 14% of the City’s land, and are absolutely essential for people and for wildlife — yet they receive less than 1% of the budget every year.

Riverside Park Conservancy is part of the New Yorkers for Parks Play Fair Coalition, a group of over 400 organizations, and even more individuals, who advocate with elected officials to demand increased, equitable funding for all parks – and to expand access for all New Yorkers.

We believe the City should adequately resource all of its parks as vital green infrastructure. Public green space plays an indispensable role in improving public health, supporting biodiversity, and in mitigating the impacts of climate change.

You can learn more about our past accomplishments and join us in pushing the current platform here.

Parks and Open Space Partners – New York City

  • The Parks and Open Space Partners – New York City (POSP-NYC) coalition is a group of parks and open space organizations that began meeting regularly during the coronavirus pandemic to cross-coordinate and support each other’s parks advocacy and programming efforts.
  • In the Spring of 2020 Riverside Park Conservancy helped to create a research report in real time that detailed the impacts that budget cuts would have on public parks during the pandemic and beyond. You can read the report here and see coverage from the press about the impact COVID-19 has had – and the realities it revealed – in public green spaces:

The Wall Street Journal May 2020 New York City Park Funding Cuts Will Have a ‘Devastating Effect’

NY Daily News May 2020 Return to the bad old days? NYC park conservancies sound alarm over proposed budget cuts, loss of revenue

The Architect’s Newspaper, May 2020 A hidden victim of the coronavirus pandemic? NYC’s parks

Patch Upper West Side, May 2020 Coronavirus Impact, Budget Cuts Put Riverside Park At Risk: Study

Curbed NY, May 2020 NYC Parks foresee financial losses at a time when we need them the most

City Limits, June 2020 Opinion: Now More Than Ever, NYC Needs Nature, and Nature Needs Funding

U.S. News, June 2020 Why Cities Must Protect Their Parks From Funding Cuts

CityLab, June 6 2020 Amid Protests and Pandemic, Urban Parks Show Their Worth

The Nature of Cities, June 2020 Why Defunding the Police is an Issue of Democracy and Public Space

BBC, June 2020 What Outdoor Space Tells Us About Inequality

West Side Rag, June 2020 “With City Budget Cuts Looming, Riverside Park Conservancy ‘Will Do Our Very Best to Fill in the Cracks,’ Director Says”

Newsweek, July 2020 “NYC Cuts Parks Budget by 14% When People Say They Need Them Most”

The New York Times, July 2020: “New York City Has 2,300 Parks. But Poor Neighborhoods Lose Out.”

Architectural Record, August 2020 This Land Is Your Land…or Is It?

Testimony to City Council

Riverside Park Conservancy has offered public testimony at City Hall on topics ranging from forest management to community gardens.

• October 25, 2018: Ensuring the Short and Long Term Preservation of the City’s Natural Forest

• March 8, 2019: In Support of New Yorkers for Parks Play Fair Coalition Before the New York City Council Committee on Parks City Hall

• March 13, 2020: In Support of New Yorkers for Parks Play Fair Coalition Digital Rally

• January 27, 2021: In Support of Local Law 1059, Local Law in relation to a report on community garden food processing and agriculture

• March 12, 2021: In Support of New Yorkers for Parks Play Fair Coalition Digital Rally with NYC Council Parks Committee Chair Peter Koo

Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, which stands at 89th Street and Riverside Drive, is an NYC Landmark. Dedicated in 1902 in honor of soldiers and sailors who fought to preserve the Union, the Monument is the site for the annual NYC Memorial Day remembrance ceremony.

While the Monument is beloved and historic place in the City, over time it has fallen into disrepair. The most recent repairs were performed in 1959 – 1962, and there has been no significant maintenance since. Today Riverside Park Conservancy is pushing the City to fully fund the restoration of the Soldiers’ and Sailor’s Monument, along with the surrounding plaza.

In 2016 we initiated and helped to pay for an in-depth study of the conditions. All mortar joints in the monument and the surround plaza, steps, and retaining walls are failing. Rain water has seeped into the joints, causing significant damage to the structure over time. The marble elements of the monument show damage in the form of cracked stonework, surface erosion, and weakening of previous repairs, and the northern retaining walls are literally falling apart, with granite pieces loosening and failing onto the ground below.

The City Department of Management and Budget estimated the price of restoration at $32 million – this cost is beyond the scope of most private philanthropy, and we believe the City should step up and fund its repair.

You can help by signing on to the letter below.

Soldiers & Sailors Monument Restoration

We join our elected officials in demanding action. Please add your name to the letter below.

Soldiers & Sailors Petition

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