Parks Committee Chair Mark Levine's Statement on the Mayor's Fiscal Year 2016 Executive Budget


CONTACT: Tyrone Stevens 917-842-5748[email protected] 

“Our parks budget lags behind most other cities in America, further increasing the gap between hundreds of struggling parks in low and moderate income communities and highly funded parks in wealthier areas. While there is some good news in this budget on PEP officers and tree maintenance, the broader imperative of closing the parks equity gap in our city remains largely unaddressed. The budget includes cuts to the important Community Parks Initiative and leaves out badly needed funding for gardeners and maintenance workers. This budget also fails to fund community gardens, playground associates and an extension of the beach and pool season," said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the City Council Parks Committee. "We can only close the parks equity gap in low and moderate income neighborhoods through robust investment in our vital green spaces. I look forward to working with the administration, parks advocates and my colleagues in the Council towards achieving these goals in the final budget.”

Items included in the Mayor’s Executive Budget released on May 7, 2015:


  • $5 million in funding for the Parks Enforcement Patrol

  • $4.4 million for tree pruning

  • $750,000 for tree stump removal

  • $  for Trees and Sidewalk Program


  • $ for the second phase of the Community Parks Initiative

Items not included in the Mayor’s Executive Budget released on May 7, 2015 that Council Member Levine is calling for:


  • Restore $8.7 million for gardeners and park maintenance workers.

  • $1 million increase for the Green Thumbs Program to support the City’s more than 600 community gardens.

  • Restore $750,000 in funding for the Parks Equity Initiative.

  • $5.4 million to hire 200 additional playground associates.

  •  $3 million for the Trees and Sidewalk Program 


  • $500K to support a Master Planning process for the city’s mid-sized parks--especially those which are regional draws with high usership.  

  • $5 million for the Green Thumbs Program to address infrastructure needs.

On Wednesday, May 27, Council Member Levine, New Yorkers for Parks, along with other advocates, activists and community gardens enthusiasts will hold a rally on the steps of City Hall to call for more funding to close the parks equity gap. You can see more information or RSVP here.


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