Volunteers To Beautify Local Parks From Harlem To Hollis For Spring IMP-act Day 2022

May 13, 2022

Nearly 800 New Yorkers will head to their local parks on Saturday, May 21st for Spring IMP-act Day—an annual citywide park beautification day.

To clean, green, and beautify local parks across the city through the It’s My Park program.

Nearly 25,000 volunteers participate annually in It’s My Park, PfP’s signature volunteer program, which launched in 1996.

Hundreds of volunteers come out on the third Saturday of May—once known as It’s My Park Day—to begin a season of planting, making this one of the biggest annual volunteer days for parks in New York City.

Notable IMP-act Day projects include Muslim Volunteers for New York at Ruppert Park on 2nd Ave, between E 90th St. and E 91st St., Friends of Luther Gulick Park at Columbia St., Delancey St., and Bialystoker Pl., Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association between Rutherford Pl. and N D Perlman Pl., from E 15th St. to E 17th St., and The Rocky Run at Fort Washington Park, between Riverside Dr. and Hudson River, from W. 155th St. to Dyckman St.

This Spring IMP-act Day comes at a critical time for parks and green spaces as New York City tentatively recovers from COVID-19.

City parks have been a place of refuge for New Yorkers since the pandemic began, increasing awareness around how essential green infrastructure is to the overall health and well-being of the city and also increasing the need for volunteerism and community support.

The current climate recalls the early days of PfP, founded in 1995 to support community groups that had emerged organically to care for neighborhood parks in the wake of the fiscal crisis of the 1970s.

With the help of PfP (a joint program of City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks), these grassroots “friends groups” helped to transform once-neglected parks into thriving community spaces.

PfP is now the largest community engagement program for parks and green spaces in New York City, supporting nearly 600 community groups working to sustain 400 parks in all five boroughs.

“As we prepare for another busy summer season, we face a critical time for our parks,” said Sabina Saragoussi, director of Partnerships for Parks. “Parks have been our sanctuary since the COVID-19 pandemic began, demonstrating how crucial green space is to the health of our city. On IMP-act Day and throughout the spring and summer season, we will work with community partners to beautify and care for parks across the city, sustaining these spaces when they need it the most. Doing this important work together not only improves our green spaces, it also strengthens our communities as a whole through collective action.”

“City Parks Foundation is a proud partner with NYC Parks in Partnerships for Parks, a program that is critical to ensuring equity in parks across the city,” said Heather Lubov, Executive Director of City Parks Foundation. “IMP-act Day is a fantastic opportunity to join fellow residents in beautifying and improving neighborhoods across the city, volunteering in local green spaces in ways that are meaningful and responsive to each individual community’s needs.”

“Let’s make an IMP-act, New Yorkers! Those who volunteer and help to keep our greenspaces clean and beautiful are an integral part of our Parks system, and we’re so excited for another IMP-act Day this year,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “I’d like to thank Partnerships for Parks for their hard work organizing this important beautification volunteer day, helping to activate residents for the betterment of our City parks in all five boroughs.”

For a complete list of projects, please visit our website cityparksfoundation.org/calendar/category/its-my-park/ or contact tomasia.kastner@parks.nyc.gov.

About Partnerships for Parks: Partnerships for Parks is a unique public-private partnership between City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks that supports and champions neighborhood volunteers by giving them the tools they need to advocate and care for their neighborhood parks and green spaces.

More information about Partnership for Parks is available at www.partnershipsforparks.org.

Generous private support is provided by The New York Community Trust, Altman Foundation, the Greenacre Foundation, and the MJS Foundation.

Public support is provided by the NYC Council through the Parks Equity Initiative. Presenting sponsor TD Bank.

Photo credit: Riverside Park.

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