2015 promises to be an extraordinarily exciting year for the park. NYC Parks has just finalized a 20 year Master Plan for improvements to the Park. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are committed to working with the Parks Department, the Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy and elected officials to determine how to fund and implement this plan.
The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are also pleased to announce new officers for the Board of Directors. At the December 2014 board meeting, the Directors elected Christopher Rizzo, Chairman of the Board and Teresa Grant Stoeth, Vice- Chair of the Board. Eric A. Seiff and Marcia Allina previously served in those roles and will continue to serve on the board and its Executive Committee. In addition, Deepak Butani will serve as the Treasurer, where Mr. Rizzo previously served, and Tom Carey will continue his second term as Secretary. Officers of the Board of Directors serve a two year term. The new officers look forward to working with the entire board and staff of the Friends to move the Master Plan along while implementing and improving all of the Friends’ current park education, trail and advocacy programs. For more information about our programs and ways that you can help us meet our financial goals, please visit www.vancortlandt.org.
The Friends have already begun to secure funding to help implement projects in the Master Plan. In August, after several months of advocacy by the Friends, State Senator Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester) and Council Member Cohen (D-Bronx) announced that more than $1.8 million in state and municipal capital grants will be provided to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as part of an effort to enhance Van Cortlandt Park. The funding will be used to construct an approximately 15,000 sq foot playground and make environmental and infrastructure improvements to two trails at Van Cortlandt Park. The trail funding is particularly exciting as it represents a major step forward in the implementation of the Friends’ 2009 Trail Plan for the entire park. The playground funding will fund an important goal of the Master Plan—revitalizing the northwest corner of the Park.
We look forward to working with you to Bring Youth, Community, and Nature Together in 2015.
All the best,
All of your Friends at the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park!