Improve Your Parks (Part III): Who to Contact

by Heather Van De Mark on

Last week, I attended Partnership for Parks meeting, How Can I Improve My Park? It was a fantastic panel discussion between city officials and active community volunteers on how people can improve their parks. You can read the recap of the discussion at Improve Your Parks (Part II): A Panel Discussion.

It was ALSO the launch event for The Center for Urban Pedagogy’s (CUP) newest publication, How Can I Improve My Park?, a pamphlet that unfolds to 22″ × 32″ poster detailing how to make change within your parks. You can learn more about the pamphlet at Improve Your Parks (Part I): An Illustrated Guide.

Lastly, I thought it would be helpful to provide contact information for elected officials, community groups, useful parties who may be able to help in the bettering of our parks. If you see an error or want to add a suggestion–please do so in the comments!

“Friends of” Groups and Other Park Oriented Organizations

  • 61 Franklin St. Garden
    We are a community-tended garden and open space in Greenpoint. 61 Franklin St. Garden on Facebook. Contact:
  • Barge Park Pals
    Our mission is to help maintain and improve Newtown Barge Playground & Greenpoint Playground (a.k.a. Barge Park) and the surrounding waterfront community environment for the health and well being of community children and their families. Barge Park Pals on Facebook. Contact: Mike Hoffman, Laura Hoffman at
  • City Parks Foundation (CPF)
    CPF is the only nonprofit organization to create programs in parks throughout all five boroughs of New York City. We enrich and connect New Yorkers through free and accessible arts, sports, education and community-building initiatives.
  • Friends and Families of McCarren Park
    This group was created with the sole purpose of bringing people in the community together in support of a clean, safe park. View Friends and Families of McCarren Park on Facebook.
  • McCarren Dog Run Association
    A not-for-profit organization run by and for dog park users at McCarren Park. McCarren Dog Run Association on Facebook. Contact:
  • Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park (BIP)
    Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is a community group championing the creation of the 28-acre waterfront park. Friends of BIP on Facebook, on Twitter. Contact:
  • Friends of East River State Park (FERSP)
    ERSP on Facebook. Contact:
  • Friends of East River State Park Dog Run
    FERSP Dog Run on Facebook. Contact:
  • Friends of McGolrick Park
    This group is now The McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance. View Friends of McGolrick Park on Facebook.
  • McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance
    The group consists of community leaders and residents working to improve the public space of McGolrick Park and our neighborhood. View McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance on Facebook. Contact: Dan Latorre, 718-878-4924 or
  • Friends of the Northside Waterfront
    We are a group of Williamsburg residents who care about the growth and maintenance of the our waterfront park (pier and promenade) on the North Williamsburg Waterfront from N. 3rd St to N. 7th. Friends of the Northside Waterfront on Facebook.
  • Java Street Garden
    Our mission is to establish a garden and public space for the larger Greenpoint area and for the enrichment of those participating in the community’s development. Java St Garden on Facebook. Contact:
  • New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P)
    NY4P has built, protected and promoted parks and open spaces in New York City. NY4P is the citywide independent organization championing quality parks and open spaces for all New Yorkers in all neighborhoods. NY4P on Facebook, on Twitter.
  • Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn (OSA)
    OSA is a nonprofit that works with NYC Parks, our community, and elected officials to maintain and enhance parks in North Brooklyn. OSA on Facebook, on Twitter.
  • OSA Director
    Ed Jannoff, 718-218-6130 or

City Related Departments, Employees, Organizations

  • 311
    311 is New York City’s main source of government information and non-emergency services. Call or text 311, or use the 311 app on your smartphone or tablet. 311 on Facebook, on Twitter.
  • Community Board 1 (CB1)
    CB1 is made up of volunteers who live, work or have other interests in the area, plus the City Council Members serving any part of the area. CB1 meetings are the place where interested citizens discuss community issues, monitor government performance, and advise city agencies on neighborhood matters. Contact: 718-389-0009 or or
  • CB1 Chairperson
    Dealice Fuller
  • CB1 Environmental Protection Committee Chairperson
    Ryan Kuonen
  • CB1 Parks & Waterfront Committee Chairperson
    Phillip Caponegro
  • New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks)
    NYC Parks is the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land — 14 percent of New York City. Here’s a handy directory of NYC Parks employees/departments.
  • NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner
    Kevin Jeffrey, 718-965-8920 or
  • NYC Parks North Brooklyn Parks Administrator
    Edward Janoff, 718-218-6130 or
  • Partnership for Parks (P4P)
    A joint program of City Parks Foundation & NYC Parks.
  • P4P Catalyst Program
    Working in historically underserved NYC parks, Catalyst builds park communities, connecting people to NYC green spaces and waterfronts, increasing their capacity to sustain parks as a key component of resilient neighborhoods.
  • P4P Outreach Coordinator (for Brooklyn Community Boards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 16)
    Emily Sherrod, 718-965-8907 or

Elected Officials

  • Brooklyn Borough President (BBP)
    Eric Adams, 718-802-3700 or or on Twitter.
  • BBP Community Service Center
    Where residents can request assistance, file a complaint or ask a question. Constituents can send letters or visit the office at 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn or call 718-802-3777.
  • City Councilman Stephen Levin
    Councilman for NYC District 33. From Levin’s official city page, “If you need assistance with a problem you are having in the community, please contact my office by filling out this form or calling 718-875-5200.” Stephen Levin on Facebook, on Twitter. Contact: 718-875-5200 or
  • CM Levin’s Constituent Liaison and Environmental Policy Advisor
    Lisa Bloodgood,
  • CM Levin’s Constituent Liaison
    Betty Lester,
  • NYS Assemblyman Joseph Lentol
    Representative for NYS Assembly 50th District. Joe Lentol on Facebook, on Twitter. Contact: 718-383-7474 (Brooklyn office) or complete this online form.
  • NYS Senator Daniel Squadron
    Representative for the NYS 26th District. Daniel Squadron on Facebook. Contact: 718-875-1517 (Brooklyn office) or or complete this online form.
  • Sen. Squadron’s Brooklyn Director
    Zeeshan Ott,

Again, I’ve done my best to be comprehensive and provide accurate information, but if you see an error or want to add a suggestion–please do so in the comments or send an email to

Heather Van De Mark

Heather Van De Mark

Heather is a designer/writer specializing in non-profit organizations and social causes. Originally from central NY, Heather settled into the charming Greenpoint neighborhood in 2011. While most of her community activism takes place from behind a computer screen, Heather can often be found at CB1 meetings, the McCarren Park track and any of the parks along the waterfront.