Prospect Park Alliance, Inc.

Brooklyn, NY   |  www.prospectpark.org

Mission

Prospect Park Alliance is the non-profit organization that sustains "Brooklyn's Backyard," working in partnership with the City of New York. The Alliance was founded in 1987 to help restore the Park after a long period of deterioration and decline. Today, the Alliance provides critical staff and resources that keep the Park green and vibrant for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. The Alliance cares for the woodlands and natural areas, restores the Park's buildings and landscapes, creates innovative Park destinations, and provides free or low-cost volunteer, education and recreation programs.

Ruling year info

1987

Principal Officer

Ms. Susan Donoghue

Main address

95 Prospect Park West

Brooklyn, NY 11215 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

11-2843763

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Parks and Playgrounds (N32)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Prospect Park is Brooklyn's most treasured natural resource. Designed by visionary landscape architects Olmstead and Vaux, this urban oasis boasts Brooklyn's only lake, its last remaining forest, and the longest stretch of unbroken meadow in any urban park in the United States. Over its 150-year history, Prospect Park has experienced periods of incredible growth, as well as neglect and decline. The 1980's saw the park at its lowest point -- landscapes were not cared for, the Woodlands were deteriorating, and park visitorship dropped to only two million per year, the lowest in history.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Natural Resources Crew

The Prospect Park Alliance has made a long-term commitment for the restoration and preservation of the Park?s 250 acres of woodlands by funding the Natural Resources Crew (NRC), and establishing an endowment to maintain areas that have been restored. The NRC is staffed with specialists and seasonal employees dedicated to the Park?s complete restoration. The Alliance?s professional staff supervises the Woodlands Youth Crew, Weekend Woodlands Volunteers, BASE students, and other groups who assist in the work of caring for the Park?s natural areas.

Population(s) Served

Over the last five years, the Alliance Education Department has developed successful programs for preschoolers and schoolchildren in public and private schools. In an age in which children are spending less time interacting with the natural environment, our programming helps children develop the kind of academic curiosity that can serve them in all disciplines.

The Alliance?s Public Programs give visitors ? in particular, children under 13 and their families ? a range of opportunities to deepen their understanding of Prospect Park and the natural world. Through exhibits, nature tours, drop-in programs, interpretive trails, and special events, casual visitors are able to discover for the first time the true depth of their natural environment.

Population(s) Served

Established in 1998, the Alliance?s Youth Programs provide teens with opportunities for personal growth, community leadership, and career development while connecting them to the Park?s natural environment. Youth Council members volunteer throughout the Park, learning about the ecosystems of Brooklyn?s most important green space. The success of the Alliance?s youth programming has made it a model for other initiatives in New York City, Buffalo, and London. Youth Programs are coordinated with Education offerings to us to serve people continuously from childhood through to adulthood. Many members of the Youth Council first became engaged with the Park through Education programs for younger children. In turn, many Youth Council members find summer jobs through the Youth Employment Program?s Woodlands Youth Crew, in which teens work side-by-side with the Alliance?s experienced arborists and horticulturalists to fight invasive species, mitigate erosion, and other forest-management work. For young adults, the Prospect Park Youth Council now has an active alumni program (developed and run by alumni themselves) which enables past members to serve as mentors to current participants. Over the next two years, the growth of Youth Programs will be focused on greater engagement with students at BASE as well as strengthened career mentoring facilitated by the alumni.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Founded in 1987, Prospect Park Alliance restores, sustains, and advances Prospect Park. The Alliance leads initiatives, in partnership with the City of New York, to restore and reshape park grounds by providing critical staff and resources that keep its expanse green and vibrant. These include maintaining the park’s landscape design and preserving its historically significant architecture, to ensure that all communities throughout the borough can benefit from this cultural landmark. Today, the park attracts more than 10 million visits each year from families, nature lovers, concertgoers, athletes, and more, and remains an international model for the care of urban outdoor spaces.

In a world increasingly focused on environmental conservation, it is vitally important that residents of Brooklyn understand and appreciate the natural world and Prospect Park’s rich history. Maintaining the park's grounds and providing access to this resource are critical, particularly as many of Brooklyn’s underserved, low-income families live in neighborhoods in close proximity to our borders, and 32% of households in neighborhoods along our perimeter include children under 18. These neighborhoods share a collective poverty rate of over 21%. As Brooklyn’s neighborhoods continue to grow and diversify, the need to provide these accessible opportunities has become even greater for communities throughout the borough.

Prospect Park Alliances provides pioneering park management and engaging public education programs to ensure that this landmark remains one of the nation’s premiere public green spaces—and an oasis for the neighborhoods and diverse communities that call Brooklyn home.

The Alliance works to foster a dynamic environment in Prospect Park where individuals and families from all backgrounds can enjoy the wide-ranging benefits that urban greenspaces can provide. Its sites and locations offer ample space for a wide variety of activities and programs—from lively sports games between friends and neighbors to personal, quiet contemplation—in addition to free hiking, biking, running, playgrounds, and other exercise options. Residents and families gather to host lively barbeques, celebrate special occasions, and enjoy one another’s company, while nature lovers visit to appreciate the beauty and solitude of its quiet, open expanses. Prospect Park Alliance seeks to provide these opportunities, regardless of one’s ability to pay for access, by continuing our essential Park restoration, preservation, and maintenance efforts, as well as offering guided access to its natural environment through our accessible education programs.

For 30 years, we have led the field of sustainable park management through pioneering rehabilitation, preservation, and maintenance efforts in Prospect Park, one of the nation’s premier green spaces. This work, along with our innovative programming and thoughtful stewardship, has transformed the Park into one of the city’s most treasured community resources.

Ensuring these benefits requires year-round restoration, design, and maintenance of Prospect Park’s 585 acres. Led by the Alliance’s award-winning Landscape Management Office, our dedicated crews of arborists, horticulturists and landscape architects—including our Natural Resources Crew (NRC)—provide 1,800 hours of lawn care annually to maintain a seamless balance between the park’s natural and designed landscapes, woodlands, lake, and structures. Our team is comprised of professionals whose work stand as an international model of urban park stewardship.

In addition to restoring and sustaining the landscapes and ecology of Prospect Park, the Alliance also has a dedicated team to engage the diverse communities who call Brooklyn home. To ensure we serve diverse residents across the borough, the Alliance has undertaken a multi-faceted approach to community engagement that includes new strategic initiatives, public and recreational programs, and local community partnerships. Collectively, these efforts empower individuals with the opportunity, tools, and inspiration to both engage with and participate in the shaping of this natural environment—ultimately transforming visitors into key stakeholders and bolstering our efforts to ensure the park’s long-term sustainability.

Landmark Restoration

With its 585 acres of landscape, including 250 acres of woodlands and thousands of plant species and wildlife, Prospect Park requires year-round restoration, design, and maintenance. These efforts are led by Prospect Park Alliance’s Natural Resources Crew, which provides nearly 1,800 hours of lawn care to ensure a seamless balance between natural and designed landscapes and the woodlands, lake, and Park structures. The crew works year-round to fight the growth of invasive species, which maintain the Park’s ecosystem and restores original Park views; reestablish woodland conditions and re-vegetate areas near park entrances; maintain fences and other barriers to keep visitors off of delicate plantings; and make emergency repairs from storm damage.

Recreation and Cultural Programs

Prospect Park serves over 450,000 individuals each year through more than 800 public programs. These free and low-cost experiences provide active, accessible learning adventures that tie together the Park’s natural environment, Brooklyn’s history, and Park stewardship.

Award-Winning Recreation Areas

Our Tennis Center offers low-cost lessons for adults and children of all levels, with courts also available for rental. The Tennis Center also serves children with special needs through our Special Aces Program. The LeFrak Center at Lakeside receives 200,000 visitors annually, offering boating, bike rentals, ice skating in the winter months, and roller skating in the summer, along with a free water play area for children.

Historic and Environmental Education

The Prospect Park Audubon Center is a trailblazing collaboration between Audubon New York and Prospect Park Alliance. Through free classes, family workshops, and guided and self-guided nature tours and trails, the Center fosters an appreciation of the natural world through active learning adventures that teach children about nature and encourage interactive engagement with the Park’s many landscapes and ecosystems.

Lefferts Historic House Museum, built in the 18th-century farming village of Flatbush, is a designated City landmark and one of Prospect Park’s most valuable and longstanding hubs for historic education. Through its working garden, historic artifacts, and period rooms, it hosts ongoing and temporary exhibits, workshops, and seasonal events that interpret the history of Brooklyn’s natural environment from pre-Colonial times to the present.

Youth and Community Engagement

The Alliance also relies heavily upon the generosity of thousands of individuals who participate in our Volunteer Program, including local students and community members, who play an essential role in the beautification of Prospect Park and the administration of our programs. We host regular volunteer projects four days per week from April through November, and engage thousands of youth and adults, families, community groups, and corporate employees in the Park’s annual events.

Financials

Prospect Park Alliance, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Prospect Park Alliance, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 02/25/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Iris Weinshall

New York Public Library

Shawn Austin

Liberty Mutual Benefits

Leslie L. Beller

No Affiliation

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Andrew Birsh

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Jane Cohan

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Allison Dunn

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Jill Eisenstadt

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Sarah Gerstenzang

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David Gmach

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Nick Guarna

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Stephen K. Hindy

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Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson

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Jorge Juantorena

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Michael Kalt

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Susan Kath

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Andrew Kimball

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Tom Keaney

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Rebecca Messner Leckie

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Grace Lyu-Volckhausen

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Raquel Malmberg

PwC

Jeffrey Mandel

Tishman Speyer

David M. Marcinek

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Lark-Marie Menchini

Endurance International Group

Sharon Myrie

Queens Borough Public Library

James Patchett

NYC Economic Development Corporation

Rob Rosenberg

Houlihan Lokey

Elizabeth Ryan

Compass

Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President

Page Sargisson

Page Sargisson Jewelry

Brad Lander

New York City Council

Philip Summers

Lazard

Claude Trahan

Con Edison (retired)

Catherine M. Varous

Marsh & McLennan Companies

Mitchell Silver

Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation