Annual Fund

Van Cortlandt Park
is a lifesaver.

Does that sound like an overstatement?
Well, in a year like no other, you and thousands of other people
in your community turned to nature for comfort, respite, and joy.
You made your way to your favorite green harbor.
You went to Van Cortlandt Park… and you felt better.

Maybe you walked, cycled, or ran, tried yoga for the first time,
or played a pickup game of softball. Perhaps you hiked in
the urban forest or sat by the lake, admiring the swans.
If you’re like thousands of others, you hosted or attended
a picnic, barbecue, or a party in the park.

Since March, Van Cortlandt Park has been all things to all people—classroom, gym, clubhouse, backyard, restaurant, nature retreat. The park makes it possible to stay physically fit and mentally healthy—because at a time when it can be a challenge to enjoy yourself, a visit to Vannie is just what you need to lift your spirits.

2020 has been full of uncertainty, but one thing is for sure…
Van Cortlandt Park has been there for YOU!
Now we are asking, will YOU be there for the park?

Your support makes it possible for us to run programs that serve our Bronx community:

  • Internship programs like Urban Eco-Teens and Garden 2 Market farm stand;
  • Volunteer programs like Vital Volunteers and Tibbetts Watershed Crew;
  • Junior naturalist afterschool programs like ART of Hiking and Garden Club;
  • Environmental education programs for schoolchildren.

Urban Eco-Teen Interns planting trees along the newly opened Putnam Greenway—a natural symbol of hope and renewal for spring.

Van Cortlandt Park Alliance provides programming—in the park and virtually—all spring, summer, fall, and winter. Our staff continues to create blended learning sessions that make it possible for Bronx teens and kids to be outdoors, away from their screens, getting the hands-on experience and the safe, social interaction they crave in these remote times.

Your generosity means we can plan now to hire seasonal maintainers that will help keep the park tidy and safe when the weather starts to get warm. This summer, Van Cortlandt Park Alliance underwrote the cost of hiring six seasonal maintainers who worked directly with NYC Parks to pick up litter, remove storm debris, mow grass, and more. And while visitation (and trash!) doubled, as a team we managed to keep the park clean! When spring comes, we’ll do it again, with your help.

Your donation helps buy trees, shrubs, and plants that make the park look even more green and welcoming. Just a few weeks ago, we planted 200+ trees and shrubs and 150+ herbaceous plants along the newly opened Putnam Greenway with the assistance of Community Stewardship volunteers and Urban Eco-Teen Leadership interns. Volunteer Tracy Zhang thanked us profusely for providing an outdoor experience for her tween kids. “They need this!” she joyfully declared.

At a time when you are indoors and looking at your computer more than ever, YOU need Van Cortlandt Park. We all need it! And that’s why we keep planting trees, providing programs for local children and teenagers, removing invasive plants from the lake and woods, and making the park better each day.

This year, volunteers like Tracy Zhang and so many others have made it possible to keep the park clean, safe and beautiful.

Van Cortlandt Park Alliance’s commitment to improving the park is steadfast but we can only follow through if you help now.

It has been a tough few months, but like you, Van Cortlandt Park is resilient. Vannie has been your lifesaver—and now we are asking you to help save essential park programs and services that benefit your community year-round.

Together,  we will be ready for whatever the next season brings.

With gratitude,

Stephanie Ehrlich
Executive Director, Van Cortlandt Park Alliance
Park Administrator, NYC Parks

The new Putnam Greenway makes it possible to cycle from the Bronx to Putnam County, along a continuous bike path.

P.S. Be there for the park! Please consider a gift to Van Cortlandt Park Alliance today by donating securely online or by mail.

Your gift, no matter the size, will make a difference and help sustain the park.