Community Action InitiativeEvery park, in every neighborhood deserves to be clean, safe and green. Parks should accommodate people of all physical abilities, be well managed, and be free of litter. Play features should be both fun and safe, and recreation programs should be provided in a healthy nurturing environment. Trees should be pruned, flora and fauna planted and maintained, grass should be green and cut regularly, water fountains operational, bathrooms open and functional. Infrastructure should be maintained, existing laws enforced, and the safty of its workers and the public ensured.
These are among the most basic functions and responsibilities of the city and its parks department. It is the City's responsibility to maintain and manage its parks at an acceptable level. This is also required by law under the City Charter, the city's constitution. However, for decades the city has failed to allocate funding to the Park's Department, thereby ignoring one of its fundamental responsibilities, resulting in an alarming decrease in these vital services.
However the public has also played a role in the loss of these services by not speaking up. If there is no pressure on the public's part, the government will continue to abdicate its responsibility and neglect these essential services and indispensable assets. Many elected officials say they get few calls and correspondences regarding parks and open spaces. If the public does not make it a priority, neither will our elected officials.
NYC Park Advocates is strongly committed to ensuring that all communities receive an acceptable level of service. In order to do this, your help is required! Please notify the proper authorities whenever you see a situation that requires attention. It is imperative you first report problems in parks by calling 311. This will help in two ways. First, the city is supposed to respond to these complaints so that the problems can get resolved. Secondly, the city tracks the type and volume of complaints, and these statistics are included in the Mayor's Management Report, an over-all accounting of city services that is released annually. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the problems affecting parks are ever reported. In many situations, decades have elapsed without appropriate action being taken. This trend must be reversed!
Reporting problems and unacceptable conditions is an important first step in being able to hold the city accountable. Remember, you are the eyes and ears of the city. It is also imperative you bring these problems to the attention of your elected officials. The condition of our parks literally depends on your involvement. Please Help.