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  • Official Caretakers of Central Park

New York City Programs


Community Parks Initiative Gardener Training Program


As part of our work to support the NYC Parks' Equity Initiatives, the Institute provides a comprehensive multi-day training to Community Parks Initiative (CPI) Gardeners, both in the Institute's classrooms and in locations throughout Central Park.

Through a variety of educational formats, including interactive activities, informational resources, in-field practicums, and lectures, participants share their experiences and enhance their urban park management skills, interacting with Conservancy staff, NYC Parks staff and most importantly, each other.

The training covers the following core set of critical urban park management skills:

  • Understanding Urban Parks
  • Site Assessment
  • Landscape Management/Seasonal Management
  • Trash Management
  • Horticulture
  • Tool Inventory and Maintenance
  • Visitor Experience and Engagement
  • Volunteer Management
Community Park Initiative Gardeners

Turf Care Training Program


The Institute offers a one-day introductory training on turf care in urban parks every spring and fall. Taught by Central Park Conservancy staff, the turf care curriculum examines fundamental principles of annual turf care practices and strategies that the Conservancy has refined in caring for more than 300 acres of lawn in Central Park.

Participants develop expertise in types of seed blends and fertilizer, demonstrate first-hand calibration of a walk-behind push spreader, observe a variety of turf equipment, and draft an annual turf maintenance plan.

turf installation team

Five Borough Program


The Five Borough Program brings training, resources, and on-site support to other parks across all five boroughs in New York City. Through its Five Borough Crew, the Conservancy performs time-limited site improvements as a way to build skills and knowledge.

The Conservancy collaborates with NYC Parks to carry out turf and trash management improvements, supporting the sustainability of those investments through turf care training, capacity building and coordination with local community partners.

construction at Bennett Park

Current Five Borough Program sites include:

Read more about the program in the New York Times.

The Five Borough Program is generously supported by a four-year gift from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation.

Jerome L. Greene