Is Private Group Taking Over More Turf at Park Despite Public Claims ?
A location has been announced by Community Board 2 for the upcoming June meeting with discussion and an update on Washington Square Park conservancy.
Washington Square Park has to this point avoided the privatized, commercialized fate of its park neighbors (see Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, Central Park, Union Square Park) and continues to be run, as it has been for years, by the New York City Parks Department. That is at risk as private influence is increasingly gaining sway behind-the-scenes.
Private organization Washington Square Park Conservancy, the topic of the upcoming meeting, does not run or manage this Greenwich Village public space. But you might not realize this with how the organization presents itself publicly, and despite claims that its focus would be to “raise funds” and “plant flowers.” Questions are being raised as to whether the private group is overstepping.
Documents uncovered by WSP Blog showed how the organization always intended to have a larger footprint at the park while leaving copious amounts of information out of public statements in order to gain “approval” by the Community Board; the conservancy founding members denied this.
The next Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting with the “biannual update” on the conservancy will be held on Wednesday, June 6th; the public is encouraged to attend, especially in light of recent changes at the downtown public space.
Further information to come.
Details, upcoming Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting with Washington Square Park conservancy:
Wednesday, June 6th 6:30 p.m.
NYU Silver Building at 32 Waverly Place, one block from the park, Room 411, Manhattan
Accessible Entrance: 31 Washington Place, Manhattan
For more background, visit these links:
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
Pictured above are the three main private conservancy founders: Veronica Bulgari, Gwen Evans, Elizabeth (Betsey) Ely from the Community Board sole “public hearing” to gain “approval” to “form” their group (it was later revealed by WSP Blog that they were already formed and up and running).