Washington Square Park has been run and managed by the New York City Parks Department for many years, not handed over to a private entity to run and manage as is the case at many other parks. This is due to the community surrounding the park pushing back against a private conservancy for over 12 years. In 2013, a group led by four wealthy women who positioned themselves as just a “little friends (of the park) group” came forth with omissions and evasions in order to be “approved” by the local Community Board (approved in a very split “no confidence” vote); CB2 held one “public hearing” on this topic. Despite the fact that WSP Blog uncovered numerous documents and private emails that demonstrated the number of deceptions put forth by this private organization – and their larger unrevealed plans – in public statements, the Community Board, instead of rolling back this decision and reviewing again, let the vote stand. Since this time, the private organization has only attempted to gain more ground at the park. The community knows what happens when a park is run by a private organization: the very essence of the park changes, it cannot help but become commercialized, corporatized, and influenced by real estate and other interests which gain sway. Plus NYU. Here are some of the posts that WSP Blog has featured on this topic.
Washington Square Park continues to be run by the City Parks Department but watchfulness on this is still necessary. Consider donating to the blog (see sidebar) to support this work.
WSP Conservancy Timeline: http://www.washingtonsquareparkblog.com/wsp-conservancy-timeline
CONservancy? Intent to Privatize Washington Square Park Confirmed With Newly Uncovered Documents | NYU “Gift to the Park” Never Revealed to the Public & More: PART I
Bloomberg’s Parks Department to NYC: Privatize! | City Conspires to Legitimize Private Conservancy at Washington Sq Park Before New Mayor Steps In, Withholds Critical Info from Public: PART II
Hot Dog! Private Conservancy Secrets: Food Cart Vendors Vanishing, $5 “Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches” On Way, Mario Batali & More at Washington Sq Park: Part III
Part IV: Documents! What was known yet concealed in Public Statements by Washington Sq Park Conservancy Founders
Part V: The Politics of “Planting Flowers:” Public Statements of Washington Square Park Conservancy Founders Contrast Sharply with 501c3 Documents Filed With New York State
Impacts and Influence of Private Conservancies on City Parks:
The Villager: Blogger skewers conservancy over hot dog purge and more
My Huffington Post page:
(This article was written before new information was revealed – the * conservancy * at Washington Square is not set up as the others which run their parks – but that is the ultimate intention, despite the fact that they have publicly denied it.)
Privatization of the Commons in Mayor Bloomberg’s New York – Part I
On Private Conservancy at Washington Square Park from this blog:
Everything ever written here at WSP Blog on private conservancy at Washington Square Park!