Parks are protected in New York State for the use of people as open space. A City in the State cannot decide to simply close down a park and use the land for something else without getting approval from the state government after land has been dedicated as parkland.
Sometimes The Department of Parks and Recreation (Parks) has properties that aren't being actively used, such as a garden that no longer has any members or unbuilt parks. If you locate a piece of property that is in the inventory of Parks, you can start by contacting NYC Parks Department's GreenThumb Program:
49 Chambers Street Room 1020
New York, New York 10007
Tel. (212) 788-8070
Fax (212) 788-8052
You can begin organizing your neighbors to create a campaign that will convince the Parks Department that your community group will be successful stewards. Here are some things you might consider gathering as you organize your neighbors, which will help you build a successful campaign:
- A mission or vision statement that lists benefits to the community;
- A letter from the local Community Board in support of the project and group (this information is found in the "Political Boundaries" section of the lot's page);
- A name for the proposed garden/group being formed to look after the garden;
- List of community members interested in the project (at least 10 names, addresses, phone numbers, emails)
- Sketch or rendering of project
- List of partners/sponsors/endorsers (including churches, school, local business, city agencies, etc.)
Some letters of support from elected officials is also helpful. You can use the "Political Boundaries" section on the lot's page to see the elected officials and community board for the lot.