Partnerships for Parks is proud to announce that the 5th annual It’s My Park Awards Reception, recognizing New York City park volunteers who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and commitment to their local parks through service, advocacy and collaboration.
The event will be held on March 13, 2018 at the Prince George Ballroom in the Madison Square neighborhood in Manhattan. Partnerships for Parks will present seven awards at the ceremony, including the 2017 Golden Trowel Awards for each of the five boroughs, as well as the Community Parks Initiative Award and the Tim Tompkins Leadership Award.
This year’s honorees are 7 outstanding community groups selected from over 460 that participated in the 2017 It’s My Park program. Together, these groups amounted to more than 25,500 New Yorkers who organized and participated in over 1,100 park clean-ups and events in nearly 350 parks across the city. These volunteers are vital in maintaining and improving New York City’s 29,000 acres of greenspace from parks and pools to nature centers and skateparks. Their dedicated stewardship helps build long-term investment in these public spaces and strengthens the social fabric of their neighborhoods.
The ceremony will include remarks from Sabina Saragoussi, Director of Partnerships for Parks; Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation; and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. All three leaders will be on hand to honor and celebrate these incredible volunteers for their outstanding service.
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The Golden Trowel Award recognizes volunteers’ commitment to transforming their parks and green spaces into dynamic community assets. It is presented to a community group from each borough that has led It’s My Park and other programs, and has demonstrated exceptional organizational growth. This year’s Golden Trowel award for Manhattan goes to Marcus Garvey Park Alliance, led by Connie Lee.
Since its founding in 2000, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance (MGPA) has been at the forefront of caring and advocating for Marcus Garvey Park, which sits on the cusp of Central Harlem and East Harlem. Although cultural programming and public art is the cornerstone of their work, the group has also focused on beautification, advocacy, and educational initiatives. In 2017, under the leadership of president Connie Lee, the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance hosted two It’s My Park clean-up events, and was awarded a Partnerships for Parks Capacity Fund grant to install a third free “little library” in Marcus Garvey Park. Since launching their Public Art Initiative in the park in 2015, the group has funded in part or in full the installation of 29 temporary public art works in 6 different parks and 5 street meridians across East and Central Harlem. In 2017, the group installed 2 new works, including a sculpture, “Atlas” by Jorge Luis Rodriguez, in Marcus Garvey Park and a mural, by three local East Harlem artists, in White Park. In addition, the group produced three free cultural events in the park’s amphitheater: “Lena Horne at 100,” “El Barrio Latin Jazz Festival” and Dance Harlem.
All parks groups were self or peer nominated and vetted by a Partnerships for Parks selection committee that focused on nominee’s achievements in the past year. Special regard was given to nominees who demonstrated achievement or overcame a challenge in their park or within their community group, coordinated an It’s My Park project or event, and/or acted as an inspirational role model for NYC community park volunteers.
Remarks from NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver and City Parks Foundation Executive Director Heather Lubov and Seven local community groups taking the podium to accept their awards 200 local NYC parks volunteers networking and enjoying refreshments.
March 13, 2018 / 6:30 pm – 9 pm
15 E. 27th Street, New York, New York 10016, CityParksFoundation.org
Photo credit: 1-2) The Marcus Garvey Park Alliance in-action.