Addabbo: Adopt A Park
Councilman Joseph Addabbo, Chairman of the City Coun-cil’s Parks and Recreation Committee, has sponsored a bill in the Council that would create an adopt-a-park program in which individual residents as well as businesses would sponsor a neighborhood park, open space or urban forest with the goal of preserving these precious city parklands.
Addabbo said that due to the inc-reased cost of maintenance and the necessity to increase revenue for the preservation of the city’s parkland, he believes that it is appropriate to create a source of funding through community involvement and direct voluntary financial giving. He said this program is not intended to rename any park property or structure, but to recognize those individuals who seek to help the city preserve its precious land and recreational programs. Through local community commitment, this program is design-ed to assist all parks, from small playgrounds and greenstreets to beachfronts, pools and recreational centers.
Under the provisions of the bill the sponsorship will not be for more than one year except that if the sponsor provides plantings then the sponsorship may be for a two-year term. The areas will be made available for sponsorship on a first come, first served basis. At the expiration of the sponsorship period, the existing sponsor has the right to renew for 30 days from the expiration of the agreement.
The bill also states that the property or structure sponsored cannot be renamed for the sponsor nor can the sponsor sell or display merchandise or use the area in any manner inconsistent with the New York City Charter or any statute, law, rule or regulation.
Sponsors pay a yearly fee determined by the city parks commissioner and the fee is paid into a special fund to be known as the "park sponsorship fund," to be made available solely to the parks department for park maintenance, capital projects, security recreation, art and educational programs and the acquisition and development of parkland and related structures or facilities. Eighty percent of the fee will be used for maintenance, security, capital projects and programs at the sponsored area.
The bill also provides that the parks commissioner may enter into a sponsorship agreement at a reduced fee or no fee to one or more organizations or individuals who undertake the responsibility to perform the actual maintenance of the area.
"Many individuals want to have a direct impact on their local park and this is one way of doing so", Addabbo stated. "During these tough financial times for our city, our parks are going to need all the help they could get."
For more information about the Adopt-A-Park Program please call Councilman Addabbo’s office at 718-738-1111.