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Urban Park Executive Leadership Program

Urban Park Executive Leadership Program

The Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks and the City University of New York School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS) will host the fall 2018 session of the Urban Park Executive Leadership Program in New York City, at the Institute for Urban Parks, from Monday, October 15 – Friday, October 19, 2018.

The program registration fee for this fall session is $2250, per person, excluding travel and lodging. Upon acceptance, you will receive information about suggested hotel accommodations and optional evening activities. Economic hardship grants are available to qualifying participants. If you are considering applying for an economic hardship grant, you will also be asked to provide a statement of need.

Drawing on its expertise in urban park management, the Institute, in partnership with CUNY SPS, has developed a five-day program that will provide participants with skills and information that enhance their ability to successfully manage an urban park as part of a public-private park partnership.

The program consists of four days of classroom activity plus a one-day practicum, during which the participants can interact with and learn directly from Conservancy staff.

For more detailed information about the program, please view our informational webinar and/or download the presentation.

Upon completing the Urban Park Executive Leadership Program, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate familiarity with fundamental concepts related to urban parks and the public-private partnerships supporting them.
  • Describe the common issues facing urban parks, and their implications.
  • Describe the major activities required to manage an urban park.
  • Describe the major responsibilities of the private partner in a public-private park partnership.
  • Within the framework of a case situation, perform selected tasks central to the leadership of a public-private park partnership.
  • Apply principles learned during the program to address issues from the participants’ own organizations.

Who Should Apply:

Executive and mid-level or senior managers who are:

  • Affiliated with a newly formed (less than 5 years) private (i.e. nonprofit) partner of an urban public-private park partnership.
  • New to a position with an established private partner of an urban public-private park partnership.
  • Affiliated with the public partner of an existing or future urban public-private park partnership.
  • Trustees of existing public-private park partnerships, friends or volunteer groups, and/or administrators, or senior-level staff members at public agencies interested in learning about the public-private partnership model.


“I would wholeheartedly recommend the program to colleagues. It's a truly amazing opportunity to get out of the weeds and take a look at your job and profession with fresh eyes and enjoy a diversity of perspectives on some of the complex issues that urban parks face.”
— Julian Macrone, Program and Development Manager, Fort Greene Park Conservancy

“The program was extremely helpful in getting me to focus on issues such as fund-raising, board development, and creating metrics on how to measure success. I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet other park professionals who are dealing with similar issues in their parks.”
— Janice Melnick, Administrator, Flushing Meadows Corona Park; Executive Director, Alliance for Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Please contact the Institute with questions about the Urban Park Executive Leadership Program or the application process at institute@centralparknyc.org.