Dedicate 1% of the City Budget for NYC Parks

Mayor Eric Adams

Play Fair: 1% of the City Budget for Parks
Play Fair: 1% of the City Budget for Parks

Mayor Eric Adams committed to funding NYC Parks with 1% of the NYC budget on the campaign trail: “We need to do everything we can to preserve the future generations of New Yorkers the right to these essential parks.” His FY23 Preliminary Budget departs from these promises, cutting the NYC Parks budget by $60 million and dramatically reducing the parks workforce. Tell Mayor Adams and the NYC City Council to allocate 1% of the budget for NYC Parks!

To: Mayor Eric Adams
From: [Your Name]

Dear Mayor Adams,

On the campaign trail, you earned widespread support from voters like me by publicly committing to fund the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) at 1% of the city budget. Stating that “an equitable parks system starts with funding for the agency and accessibility for New Yorkers,” you recognized the urgent need to reverse decades of underinvestment in our city’s parks system—including devastating pandemic-related budget cuts in 2020 that took away resources from NYC Parks just as New Yorkers were beginning to rely on their local parks in record numbers.

However, your recently released FY23 preliminary budget fails to deliver on that promise. Instead, you have proposed cutting the NYC Parks budget by $60 million, reinforcing decades of austerity and dramatically reducing the staff and resources badly needed to make our parks safe, clean, and equitable. Our parks and open spaces, and more directly, your constituents, deserve more.

Today, I implore you to make good on your commitment and allocate 1% of the budget for NYC Parks. Raising parks funding from 0.5 to 1% of the budget is the bare minimum required for adequate staffing, maintenance, and parks planning to ensure that our parks are safe, clean, and accessible for all New Yorkers. This is especially important as the city gears up for another summer of increased demand and need for open spaces.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relationship between parks equity, public health, and public safety and laid bare what parks advocates have long understood: parks and open spaces are critical infrastructure and must be funded as such.