Catching Up with the Re:New Initiative
August 13, 2021
Back in May, Prospect Park Alliance launched Re:New Prospect Park, a new stewardship effort to help serve our community. The initiative was created to meet the challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic—the Alliance and NYC Parks staff have struggled with budget cuts, coupled with a swell of park visitors. Thankfully, our community has stepped up to help in many ways, and there have already been many exciting achievements from the Re:New Prospect Park initiative.
Critical support for this initiative is made possible through generous funding from Amazon, the Leon Levy Foundation, NYC COVID-19 Response and Impact Fund in the New York Community Trust, NYC Green Relief + Recovery Fund, and many generous individuals and community members who made first-time or increased gifts to the Alliance during this challenging time.
Here are some of the highlights:
The Alliance set out to re-invest in park places, spaces, and amenities, and there have been great improvements in all areas of the park. The Lincoln Road comfort station has received a complete makeover, work is underway to install new barbecue furnishings and fixtures at the Picnic House and Bandshell barbecue areas, new audience benches have been added to the beloved Drummer's Grove (with new benches for the drummers to come), and broken ornamental brickwork at the historic Boathouse terrance has been repaired.
Re:New Volunteer Corps
As part of the Re:New Initiative, a dedicated volunteer corps is focused on fixing areas of the park that have seen great wear and tear. On a weekly basis, these volunteers have showed up in the park to repair holes in the meadows, repaint park benches and fences, clean playgrounds and replenish their sandboxes, weed overgrown areas, cover unsightly graffiti and much more.
Prospect Park Alliance has partnered with Ace New York, a non-profit that empowers the homeless, to provide additional maintenance resources to help clean the park on peak weekdays and weekend evenings through October. The crew, which is partially funded via a grant from Amazon, has been in the park for 15 weeks with about 4,150 hours worked, and has gone through roughly 9,600 garbage bags!