Central Park Conservancy raises 75% of the Park's annual budget and is responsible for the work essential to keeping Central Park beautiful.
WATCH CENTRAL PARK CONSERVANCY: OUR STORY
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Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization, was formed in 1980 by a group of concerned citizens determined to improve Central Park. Today, we manage Central Park under a contract with the City of New York. Over its 160-year history, the Park has experienced several cycles of restoration and decline. The era of decline in the 1960s and 1970s led to Central Park Conservancy's formation. Central Park Conservancy is uniquely qualified to prevent future declines and ensure the Park's care for current and future generations.
Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, corporations, foundations, and the City of New York, Central Park Conservancy has invested nearly $700 million to date into the Park, making it a model for urban parks worldwide. We provide 75% of Central Park's $57 million annual operating budget, and are responsible for all aspects of Park maintenance, as well as capital improvements and restorations.
With 40 million visits each year to its 843 acres, Central Park is the most frequently visited urban park in the United States. To manage the Park, Conservancy crews aerate and seed lawns; rake leaves; prune and fertilize trees; plant shrubs and flowers; maintain ballfields and playgrounds; remove graffiti; conserve monuments, bridges, and buildings; and care for water bodies and woodlands, by controlling erosion, maintaining the drainage system, and protecting over 150 acres of lakes and streams from pollution, siltation, and algae.
To educate and engage Park visitors and foster the next generation of park managers and stewards, Central Park Conservancy offers a variety of educational programs for families and individuals, students and teachers, and aspiring and seasoned park professionals under the umbrella of the Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks. Institute programs are designed to help visitors explore Park landscapes, learn about its history and design, as well as share our expertise and management techniques with parks in New York City and around the world.
The Conservancy is committed to help strengthen urban parks and the communities that surround them by expanding our work outside Central Park to develop support for stewardship and respect for urban parks.
Learn about Central Park Conservancy's Management and Board of Trustees.
The mission of Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public.
Central Park Conservancy aspires to build a great organization that sets the standard for and spreads the principles of world-class park management — emphasizing environmental excellence — to improve the quality of open space for the enjoyment of all.
Central Park Conservancy is committed to sustaining this operating model to provide a legacy for future generations of park users.
Central Park is a masterpiece of landscape architecture created to provide a scenic retreat from urban life for the enjoyment of all and, in so doing, helps establish New York's place among the great cities of the world. As the organization entrusted with the responsibility of caring for New York's most important public space, our work is founded on the belief that citizen leadership and private philanthropy are key to ensuring that the Park and its essential purpose endure.
In 2013, the City of New York awarded a new 10-year management agreement to Central Park Conservancy. Originally signed in 1998, and renewed in 2006, the 2013 agreement affirmed the City's confidence in its more than 33-year partnership with Central Park Conservancy in jointly managing Central Park.
Central Park Conservancy provides for Central Park's day-to-day care, as well as certain maintenance work in other New York City parks outside Central Park. Specifically the Conservancy is responsible for landscape and lawn maintenance, tree care, horticultural work, cleaning and repairing playgrounds and comfort stations, repairing benches, graffiti removal, clearing walkways, and maintaining and repairing monuments and select Park structures. In addition, the 2013 agreement defined the Conservancy’s role in supporting and training City employees working in other parks throughout the five boroughs in best practices relating to horticulture care and operations management.
In consideration for the services Central Park Conservancy performs on the City’s behalf, it receives an annual fee from the City, determined using a formula that requires the Conservancy to annually raise and spend a specified minimum amount of private funds in the Park. Since 1980, Central Park Conservancy has invested nearly $700 million in Central Park to support Park operations, capital improvements, and public programs for Park visitors and volunteers.
In connection with the City’s partnership with Central Park Conservancy, the City retains overall control and policy responsibility for Central Park. The Parks Commissioner and officials of the City of New York/Parks & Recreation are involved in all Park planning, and must approve all capital improvements Central Park Conservancy seeks to undertake. In addition, administrative rulemaking, law enforcement, and concessions operations in Central Park are under the exclusive domain of the City.
Central Park Conservancy is a private nonprofit organization. Its diverse governing board includes a cross-section of individuals including City officials, mayoral appointees, and individuals who represent the community that uses the Park. There are 43 General Trustees; five Trustees appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York; four Ex-Officio Trustees including the Parks Commissioner, the Borough President of Manhattan, the Central Park Administrator, and the President of the Women’s Committee; and 12 Life Trustees. Together, these individuals work toward the common goal of preserving and enhancing Central Park for future generations.
The Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks is the educational arm of Central Park Conservancy. The Institute develops programs designed to facilitate discovery of the Park and transfer knowledge of the Conservancy's world-class urban park management and stewardship practices, both locally and globally. The Institute’s programs help visitors explore the Park’s landscapes, history, and design, as well as share our expertise and management techniques with parks in New York City and around the world.
The Institute is home to two centers: the Center for Urban Park Discovery and the Center for Urban Park Management. The Center for Urban Park Discovery redefines how visitors experience Central Park, facilitating exploration and a variety of educational experiences in the Park. The Center for Urban Park Discovery provides environmental education for the Park’s youngest visitors, resources and training for educators who use parks as outdoor classrooms, and a variety of lectures and tours for adults who wish to learn more about the park.
The Center for Urban Park Management identifies Central Park Conservancy's defining management techniques to share with park professionals in New York City and around the world who want to learn more about our history of success to improve their local parks. The Center for Urban Park Management also facilitates the exchange of best management practices among various parks groups to help strengthen urban parks overall.
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