Like many organizations and agencies that serve the public, the last few years have been ones of tight budgets. We have been forced to make difficult choices. As the Prospect Park Alliance picks up more and more of the day-to-day operating costs of the Park, we have to readjust our focus and reallocate our limited resources. Keeping the Park safe and clean and protecting the natural resources and important historic features are, and must remain, our top priorities. However, our commitment to education and programming remains strong. We are, though, revising the schedule and variety of programs.
The Audubon Center will continue to provide free public programs, which will remain at the Boathouse on Thursdays and Fridays. This spring, we are shifting all weekend programming out of the Boathouse to launch “Pop-Up Audubon” at various locations around the Park. “Pop-Up Audubon” will be able to take advantage of the greatest resource we have- nature itself. This will also allow us to accommodate more weekend rentals at the Boathouse, which will generate much-needed revenue to help care for the Park.
In addition, because of rising maintenance and operating costs, we will no longer be offering boat tours of the Lake in the Independence, our electric boat. We are currently investigating if there is a private operator interested in, and capable of, operating the boat for next summer.
At Lefferts Historic House, due to budget restrictions, we will eliminate one staff position this year. While this will result in a reduction of programming and hours, we will preserve the most effective parts of the program. Lefferts Historic House remains open and will continue to provide a variety of engaging and exciting programs to the public.
In July, the Lefferts Historic House began to charge an admission fee. Admission is $3 for adults and free for children 16 and under. The admission fee allows us to maintain the historic building, which is over 200 years old, and the surrounding grounds. In addition, the admission fee helps support the invaluable historical collection in the museum and fund programs and exhibits for visitors.