The Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate

The Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate provides a non-credit credential for professionals in the field and focuses on practices critical to the care and management of urban parks.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021 Application Opens: June 7, 2021

(Fall 2021 Course Dates: September 13 – December 12, 2021)

Admissions Criteria

We encourage applicants with entry- to mid-level positions in public agencies (i.e. parks departments) and nonprofit urban parks groups (i.e. conservancies, friends groups, or other park organizations directly providing support to an urban park) to apply. We recommend that applicants have some experience in the field of urban park management.


Students explore topics relevant to their current work, gain a deeper understanding of the latest developments and challenges in the field of urban park management, and engage with a network of urban park managers in an interactive online environment. The Certificate covers the following topics:

  • Introducing the field of urban park management
  • Valuing partnerships
  • Engaging communities
  • Coordinating volunteers
  • Hosting programs
  • Managing special events
  • Assessing environmental sustainability
  • Working with tools and technology
  • Managing during capital improvements
  • Measuring performance in urban park management
  • Making checklists for tasks in urban parks
  • Affirming our commitments

Students who complete the program receive a certificate jointly from Central Park Conservancy and the City University of New York School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS). There are 12 units within the Certificate program; all must be successfully completed in order to earn the certificate.


Students will participate in fully online course work for 12 weeks. The self-paced program will require students to commit to three hours of work per week, including the completion of weekly assignments.


The COVID-19 crisis has caused widespread financial challenges for urban park organizations and agencies around the world. In order to make the certificate program as accessible as possible during these challenging times, the fall 2021 program fee has been reduced from $479 to $250.


Do you have questions about the certificate that are not answered here? Please contact the Institute for Urban Parks at [email protected].


The Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate is a partnership between the Conservancy and CUNY SPS. Home to the first fully online degree programs at CUNY, CUNY SPS provides online and on-campus programs that meet the needs of adults who are looking to finish a bachelor’s degree, earn a master’s degree or certificate in a specialized field, advance in the workplace, or change careers. of their choosing.

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