• Central Park Conservancy Logo
  •  

Governance Overview


1. The Organization

a. Organizational Status

The Central Park Conservancy is a private, not-for-profit organization, and is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

b. Mission

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public.

The 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.

The Central Park Conservancy is committed to sustaining this operating model to provide a legacy for future generations of park users.

c. History

The Central Park Conservancy was formed in 1980 by a group of concerned citizens determined to improve Central Park. Today, the Conservancy manages Central Park under a contract with the City of New York, and also assists the City in maintaining select parks in all five boroughs.

With 42 million visits each year to its 843 acres, Central Park is the most frequently visited urban park in the United States. Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, corporations, foundations, and the City of New York, to date, the Central Park Conservancy has invested more than $1 billion into the Park, making it a model for urban parks worldwide. We provide 75% of Central Park's $79 million annual operating budget, and are responsible for Park maintenance, as well as capital improvements and restorations.

c. Guiding Principle

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 to 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.

d. Core Values

Commitment: Commitment to our mission, Central Park, and the visitor experience.

Excellence: Innovation and the highest quality results in every aspect of our work.

Integrity: Ethical conduct in our business practices.

Adaptability: Adaptability in our response to change and challenges.

Communication: Clear, consistent communication, teamwork and an open dialogue both internally and with the public.

Public Confidence: Work to earn and maintain the public confidence in our role as caretakers of Central Park.

2. Board of Trustees

The Conservancy is governed by a Board of 55 Trustees, including 43 General Trustees, 5 Ex Officio Trustees, 5 Trustees appointed by the Mayor, and 2 Board Appointed Community Trustees. In addition, there are 11 Life Trustees and 5 Founding Trustees.

Conservancy Trustees generally serve on one or more Standing Committees, which include the Executive, Audit, Development Strategy, Finance, Investment, Nominating & Governance, Compensation & Management Development, and Operations & Construction Committees. Conservancy Trustees may also serve on Special Committees and Ad Hoc Committees.

3. Policies

a. Code of Conduct

The Central Park Conservancy is committed to maintaining the highest standards of conduct and ethics, and the organization's success is dependent upon the public's trust that Conservancy trustees, officers, employees will conduct business in compliance with applicable laws, using sound judgment, and in an honest and ethical manner. The Central Park Conservancy's Code of Conduct includes guidelines with respect to business ethics, financial accounting and recordkeeping, confidentiality of Conservancy records, anti-harassment, and substance abuse.

b. Conflict of Interest, Whistleblower and Ethics Policy

Members of the Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy, as well as Conservancy officers and employees, have an affirmative obligation to act at all times in the best interest of the Conservancy. Trustees, officers, and employees are obligated to comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, and have a fiduciary duty to conduct themselves without conflict to the interests of the Conservancy.

Trustees, officers or other employees have a duty to promptly disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest and any action or suspected action that is illegal, fraudulent, or in violation of any adopted policy, and shall not suffer intimidation, harassment, discrimination or other retaliation for reporting such conduct in good faith. An anonymous form for reporting suspected violations can be found at centralparknyc.org/whistleblower.

In the case of any actual or suspected action that is illegal, fraudulent or in violation of Conservancy policy, disclosure shall be promptly made to the Chair of the Board of Trustees or the Chair of the Audit Committee, or, pursuant to the Conservancy's Employee Handbook, on a confidential and anonymous basis.

c. Gift Acceptance Policy

The Central Park Conservancy accepts unrestricted gifts, as well as gifts designated for specific programs and purposes from individuals, corporations, and foundations that fulfill and further the mission of the Conservancy. "Standard Contributions" include cash, publicly traded securities, charitable gift annuities, life insurance and retirement plan beneficiary designations, and matching gifts. "Non-standard Contributions", such as tangible personal property, real estate, closely held securities, remainder interests in property, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, oil, gas and mineral interest, bargain sales, life insurance, closely held securities, and cryptocurrency are subject to review by the Central Park Conservancy's Gift Acceptance Committee prior to acceptance to determine whether (a) accepting the property fulfills the Central Park Conservancy's mission, (b) the property is marketable, (c) there are liabilities associated with the property, and/or (d) the property will generate undesirable tax consequences for the organization.