It didn’t rain. For the first time in five weekends the skies were clear.
All across New York City, on May 18th and 19th, volunteers were found who were eager to finally be able to work outside in the sunshine and get their hands into the earth in their local park, garden, and green space. The 2019 biannual It’s My Park weekend was on!
Thirty years ago City Parks Foundation began with the idea of encouraging residents to use and care for their own neighborhood parks and green spaces. Today, Partnership for Parks has grown into a public-private partnership between NYC Parks and City Parks Foundation. Among its most successful efforts are the spring and fall It’s My Park weekends, when bulbs, plants, supplies and tools are distributed citywide to community groups and volunteers.
In Manhattan there were 48 projects at 45 different sites during the May weekend. In the West Village three community groups—Friends of McCarthy Square, Minetta Triangle, and Morton Street Block Association—worked at their individual locations using tools they had purchased privately in prior years when little or no support was available for neighborhood “greening” efforts. Ten cubic yards of mulch was spread, large quantities of many different varieties of plants were dug into the soil. Astilbe, begonia, hosta, nepeta, petunia, and yarrow are the majority of the plants supplied by NYC Parks. Ajuga, azalea, fern, forsythia, and rose, are some of the others spotted, either newly planted or identified by the label on its soon-to-be recycled plant container. Minetta Playground and Greenwich Street Greenstreet were also busy with their agendas for cleanup, beautification and planting.
On It’s My Park Day, under the supervision of Parks Department supervisor Mitch Cynamon, Manhattan District 2, NYC Parks staff delivers pre-ordered plants, supplies and loaner tools to each site. Later the same day, the team returns to collect the tools and remaining materials.
For anyone interested in getting involved with planting, beautification, repair, or cleanups in their local playground, garden, park or green space, contacting Kyle Kelly, Partnership for Parks outreach coordinator, would be a good place to start. Kyle.Kelly@parks.nyc.gov.