Support for Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Strategic Plan 2016
WHEREAS, Madison Square Park Conservancy (MSPC) is the non-profit entity responsible for managing the care and upkeep of Madison Square Park, in partnership with New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation but with no funding support from the City; and
WHEREAS, As a result of two years of analysis, deliberation and outreach to park users and neighborhood stakeholders, MSPC has devised a strategic plan for their management of the Park that addresses many long-standing concerns of Community Board Five; and
WHEREAS, First and foremost among these concerns is the increase in event and activity programming, which despite its accessibility and engagement with the public, has had an increasing impact on the public's ability to enjoy the Park for its intended primary purpose of passive use; and
WHEREAS, The strategic plan calls for a reduction in the number of program events in the Park, as well as a reduction in the number of calendar days that will see such programming, under the principle that "less is more;" and
WHEREAS, The plan lays out more sustainable park stewardship practices that will decrease the amount of raw materials brought into the Park for maintenance, freeing up more of the annual budget to increase the variety and quality of plants, shrubs and flowers throughout the Park, in line with the historic tradition of Madison Square Park's origins as a Victorian-style strolling park; and
WHEREAS, The plan encompasses a long-term tree mapping strategy, to best manage the inevitable decline of the aging London planes whose canopy is a salient feature of the Park, and increase the number of trees planted throughout the Park beginning in the short term; and
WHEREAS, A stated goal of the plan is to increase the number of days that lawn space in the Park is available and open for public use, a longstanding concern of Community Board Five; and
WHEREAS, Although the plan does not overtly address principles guiding the curation of art installations in the Park, Community Board Five is on record objecting to large-scale installations with an inappropriate impact in terms of either duration, footprint or both, and encourages MSPC to explicitly consider these community concerns when selecting artworks for its public art program; and
WHEREAS, Although the plan does not specifically include consideration of commercial, fundraising, or marketing events that may come before MSPC (or that may be initiated by them), Community Board Five is on record with its strong concerns about the duration, impact, and number of these events, and expects that MSPC would use the same guiding principles it lays out in its strategic plan in its consideration of these other events; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five supports Madison Square Park Conservancy's Strategic Plan 2016.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this matter.