Parks in better neighborhoods are, well, better. Shocking, we know. So a study by the Citizen’s Budget Committee (CBC) and New Yorkers for Parks (a park advocacy organization) came up with a plan to improve New York City’s Public Parks—“Recommendation: Bring all parks to an acceptable condition,” the report states. Brilliant!
Currently, the city gets just about all the money generated by its
parks; but the report suggests giving more of the profit to the
Department of Parks and Recreation, giving its managers greater
incentive to find ways for concessions to earn more. It’s called
enlightened self-interest. The CBC explains that parks in the best condition are the ones funded by private, non-profit groups, like the Central Parks Conservancy. And, it follows, parks in poorer neighborhoods are the ones in the worst condition, those run by the Parks Department. Duh.
One bright note, for the first time Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget preserves the last year’s funding level for park and tree maintenance as well as playground associates in parks where no staff is assigned. In the past, that funding has been negotiable with city council, but Bloomy has put his foot down this year as part of PlaNYC, allocating more money to care for the city’s trees and natural spaces. That totally makes up for not being able to sit around smoking on our trans fat-cushioned asses.