Archives of the Mayor's Press Office

Date: Wednesday, February 3, 1999

Release #042-99

Contact: Colleen Roche/Samantha Lugo (212) 788-2958
Ed Skyler, Parks Department (212) 360-1300


Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern today announced that the amount of parkland in New York City has surpassed the 28,000-acre mark. Since January 1, 1994, the Department of Parks and Recreation has acquired 1,487 acres of parkland, more than twice the amount of the previous administration. The department reached the new mark after the acquisition of the 70- acre Staten Island Corporate Park in 1998. Fourteen percent of the city is now parkland.

"City Parkland not only helps our environment and expands the City's playground and natural areas, it also enhances the quality of life of all New Yorkers," Mayor Giuliani said. "We are proud of our commitment to preserve New York City's natural resources and of the Parks Department's dedication to preserve and maintain our land holdings for the enjoyment of this and future generations."

Commissioner Stern said, "The City's Emerald Empire has reached a new plateau and now is at the highest levels since the 1970's. In 1999, we will continue to acquire properties such as those along the Bronx River to Queens' historic Fort Totten. I would like to thank Mayor Giuliani for his strong and consistent support of our efforts to increase the City's green spaces."

In the past five years, the Parks has been working with other city agencies such as the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the Economic Development Corporation to identify potential parkland both for natural areas and neighborhood playgrounds. As a result, the Giuliani administration has acquired a total of 1,487 new acres of parkland throughout the five boroughs:

In 1998, the City acquired seventeen new parcels and two park additions, totaling 237.10 new acres. Notable acquisitions include Brooklyn's Paerdegat Basin Park (160.74 acres), Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens (1.553 acres), Garden of Happiness in the Bronx (.217 acres), Manhattan's West 104th Street Garden (.310 acres), and Staten Island Corporate Park Wetlands. 47 of these new properties, totaling 29 acres, are located in communities which have less than 1.5 acres of parkland per thousand people.

To keep accurate and current records of the expanding parks portfolio, the Parks Department is creating a comprehensive GIS geographic maps of every borough detailing every park property. In 1998, the Staten Island map was completed. By the end of 1999, Bronx and Manhattan maps will have been created and Queens and Brooklyn are scheduled for the year 2000.

Borough New Acres Total Acres Percentage of Parkland
Brooklyn 246 4,418 8%
Bronx 45 6,824 24%
Manhattan 14 2,628 17%
Queens 90 7,170 10%
Staten Island 1,092 6,981 18%
Total 1,487 28,021 14% (City-wide)

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