• About Us

    Summary

    Neighborhood Open Space Coalition was founded in 1981. It is dedicated to improving New York life by
    expanding and enhancing its infrastructure for public health: parks,  waterfronts, community gardens and open spaces, through advocacy,  research, education, and planning. NOSC is a successful communicator of  public space needs, serving as a citywide herald for  the work of community-based organizations. Promotion of activities that  create action in a dialogue  for the improvement of our government by  citizen empowerment, social cohesion and expanded ecological  responsibility in public spaces and private development  sectors.

    The following are three areas that the neighborhood open space Coalition is actively working on today. 

    • 1. We are helping the Parks Committee find  ways to stop the over $100 million waste under New York City Parks Capital Project's current management (click HERE to view the city audit). 
    • 2. We have attended many parks committee hearings over the years since the Comptroller gave it's results to the Council. Year after year, the same Capital projects staff have have continuously pointed fingers at others and promised an effective change with very little result. We have asked the city council to make these capital project hearings available to us on video.
    • 3. We need to help the parks committee find the resolve to make the changes that are necessary to protect the future of our  parks for our children.

    The Problem

    Mayor de Blasio’s failure to keep his campaign promise to overhaul and streamline the Parks Department’s Capital Projects Division who's $4.2 billion worth projects delayed for five or more years critics in the NY Daily News say the blame points to him.

    This city agency seems stuck in the spin cycle. Parks workers said they were troubled by Silver’s inability to offer usable solutions. New Yorkers are savvy,” said a worker. “They can see through spin,

    Michael Silver said it’s not his fault. He said virtually all of the stalled projects already existed when he came on board in 2014, blaming everyone else, claiming regulatory reviews are the culprit and claiming it was too difficult to find contractors. “I found the timeline shocking,” Commissioner Silver said.

    "There's nobody that thinks the status quo is acceptable. The level of passion and discontent on this issue among my colleagues in the council is just striking. Every  member of the City Council has a park capital project in their district  that has stretched out seven years or beyond. The inordinate amount of time it takes to complete even relatively  simple parks projects threatens to undermine the public’s confidence in  this important work and even erode the political will for providing funding for such projects. it is imperative that we bring more  transparency, accountability and efficiency to the parks capital process  so that our precious green spaces receive the investments they so badly  need in a timely fashion. That’s why I’m working on a bill to provide  more accurate, detailed, and relevant reporting of the true timeline of  every park project in the city."said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Parks Committee.

                            "OUTRAGEOUS COST OVERRUNS

                               and ABSURDLY LONG DELAYS"


     "New Yorker's deserve to see their tax dollars managed with cost-efficiency, timeliness, transparency, and accountability. The City has a responsibility to ensure that our neighborhoods see the parks that they need, when they need them. 


           We need to FUNDAMENTALLY REFORM this system."   

    Councilman Brad Lander, the Council’s Deputy Leader of Policy. May 25, 2017


    http://bradlander.nyc/news/releases/council-members-push-to-reform-nyc-s-capital-projects-management


    Please Email Councilman Landers today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    What's Being Said

    State Senator Tony Avella

    ...said, "I am FURIOUS" that this project has been so thoroughly delayed we are now looking at a nearly 

    NINE YEAR  timeline." 

    CLICK HERE

    Please Email Senator Avella  today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Councilman Levine

    ...said, "Council members are 

    threatening to withhold discretionary funds 

    because these delays are so egregious" 

    CLICH HERE

    Please Email Councilman Levine today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you


    The Daily News

    "Call it the City Department of Parks and PROCRASTINATION." 

    News "review shows many projects are languishing. Delayed projects points to Mayor de Blasio’s failure to keep his campaign promise to overhaul and streamline the Parks Department’s Capital Projects Division. Safety is the concern at the Harry Maze Playground in East Flatbush, Brooklyn.The playground underwent a complete transformation that was finished last year, but security lighting at the site remains unfinished, records show.

     A SHOOTING AT THE PARK IN JUNE LEFT FIVE TEENS WOUNDED"

    CLICK HERE



    New York Times

    ...calls, "the agency's Capital Projects Division

    "NOTORIOUSLY DYSFUNCTIONAL ! "


    CLICK HERE

    Jeffrey Croft president of New York City Park Advocates

    ...said, "That the Park Capital division is in shambles and is in serious need of reform starting from the top."

    “No other agency in the city has these delays. 

    “They simply do not know what they are doing, and this administration refuses to address the issues. . . .

     It’s a runaway train.”


    Please Email NYC Park Advocates today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Tuper Thomas executive director of New Yorkers for Parks

    ...said, "Projects that used to take two years and now they're taking four or five  years. Project delays were common complaint from park users. 

    The capital process needs an overhaul."


    Please Email NY4 Parks today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Councilman Cohen "It is so difficult to get capital projects completed. The frustrations  are getting these capital projects together, or done. I want to put  shovels in the ground and cut ribbons, but  a skate park funded four years ago, just started construction. It's 1/2 decade which could be an entire childhood."I am hoping agencies will bend over backwards to not report that they are late." Please Email Councilman  today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Councilman Vecca

    "Massive cost overruns that 

    feels like allocating our money into a Bottomless Pit. IF we can effectively exercise our oversight role and make the entire capital process run more effectively." 

    Please Email Councilman Vecca today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Councilwoman Ferreras-Copeland said, 

    “We must do better to reduce 

    outrageous cost overruns and long delays”


    Please Email Councilwoman Ferreras-Copland today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you

    Dorothea Poggi, president of Friends of Ferry Point Park said, “It’s very frustrating... it was 10 years ago they put up a sign and said a bathroom was coming. The Parks Department said it set aside

     $2 million for the facility 11 years ago and now the current price tag is now at $3.6 million — and the bathroom will be completed by August." Cited HERE

    Kristen Ellis  

    responded to us and said, "I have reviewed your email and the audit you have referenced. To provide projections of the same continuing losses in Fiscal Years 2012 to 2016, that is unfortunately something we are not able to do.  Since the scope period for the audit only covered Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, we are only able to report and Draw conclusions based on evidence of $28,000,000 waste observed and analyzed by auditors during that period.

    2012 and 2013 - $28,000,000

    2014 and 2015 - $28,00,000

    2016 and 2017- $28,000,000

    $111,000,000 wasted in 8 years

    @ $600,000 a playground that's 

    185 playgrounds of waste 

    say 4-5 playgrounds per Council District wasted.

    It could much higher but the Council doesn't know.

    Considering that the NYTimes claims the Department of Parks Capital Division has "Over the past 12 years, the city invested nearly $5 billion in Parks" is isn't likely it's less.

    Councilman Richie Torres

    ‘Drain the Swamp’ of Cost and Time Overruns at the Parks Department said, 

    “The Parks Department has the worst capital program in the city,” he said in an interview with the Observer. “Parks Department capital projects are 


    Notoriously Over budget, Behind Schedule and Lawless when it comes to labor standards.” 

    Cited HERE

    Please Email Councilman Torres today and end the loss of our Parks and Playgrounds by waste by an unfit administration at Park’s Capital Projects. Use the email found in Get involved What You Can Do. Thank you


    Adrian Williams a leader of East Brooklyn congregations

    ...said, "We think a process where the most simple of fixes takes three years is no process at all, just a mess."

    Councilman Greenfield

    in the NY Times said, "We have Council members who refuse to fund parks  because they know that the likelihood that the project will be completed  while they are in office is not very high you'll leave to your  successor. We've started calling these Legacy Project because it's a  legacy you leave for your successor. That his Frustrations over the Delays is shared by other members of the City Council and park advocates  who say the capital projects in the park system take far too long."

    Public Works partners

    ...said, "That other agencies delivered projects faster and cheaper than the Parks Department."

    What our members are saying:



    • These are from the two leading park advocates in the city, "needs an overhaul."


    • "in shambles needs reform starting from the top. It’s a runaway train.”


    • "I trusted The New York Times that if they say this I believe it "notoriously dysfunctional."


    • "I don't know how politicians can see things like this and allowed to hurt so many people for so long then get nothing done to fix it"


    • "Outrageous cost overruns and absurdly long delays. 


    • "I had a park closed-in my neighborhood and watched my kid grow up without it broke my heart."


    • "park capital project stretched out from five to six to even seven years.”


    • "I own a small business in the city. Massive cost overruns where it feels like we are allocating funds into a bottomless pit? I can't understand how this can happen."


    • "Unlike schools or roads its parks that I feel real ownership in. I'm so discouraged when I hear my own elected officials say Parks are "worst capital program in the city, notoriously over budget, behind schedule."


    • "I'm sure the Council knows we'll get more information that jobs are over budget and aren’t getting completed"


    • "The proposed changes are a new bureaucracy. It’s a band aid on a dying patient."


    • "We need to start new at Parks Capital Projects so that our Parks are built on time and on budget like they used to be."


    • "The only proposal to end the obvious incompetence is to remove the incompetence."


    • "The PMRTF, PRCPT, SBR’s will only make it clearer tens of millions of waste dollars later down the road how urgent it is the Council then to finally act to replace Park’s Capital Project’s administration."


    • "I can’t believe after reading the audit the Council didn’t ask for a follow up. Does anyone know how much the waste is?"


    • "The enormous number of articles on the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition's website of Councilmembers preaching about the inefficiencies that plague the system seem to show your passion but, not real commitment to my children's parks and playgrounds. Hypocritical."


    • "Please don’t waste this chance perhaps only resulting in aggravating a staff reaching for a life ring."


    • "Your purpose is to find out about customer satisfaction? The administration at Parks Capital Projects is deplorable."


    • "The Council solution of PMRTF, PRCPT, SBR’s are bureaucratic nonsense that only wastes money for salaries."


    What's Next

    The following are three areas that the neighborhood open space Coalition is actively working on today. 

    • 1. We are helping the Parks Committee find  ways to stop the over $100 million waste under New York City Parks  Capital Project's current management (click HERE to view the city audit). 
    • 2. We have attended many parks committee hearings over the years since the Comptroller gave it's results to the Council. Year after year, the same capital projects staff have have continuously pointed fingers at others and promised an effective change with very little result. 
    • 3. We need to help the parks committee find the resolve to make the changes that are necessary to protect the future of our  parks for our children. To paraphrase John Lennon-"All we are Saying is Give PARKS a chance-"

    Click To get Involved

    The Great Tree Walk

    The Great Tree Walk Guide Web

    NOSC is interested in approaching charitable foundation’s with  environment program how to create a web version of New York City Park's  the Great Tree Walk Guide.  As you can imagine, there are numerous  organizations that would be very interested in this. Unfortunately,  there hasn't been much time to start sending out  the inquiries yet. We  would welcome anyone who would like to see this project  to please  contact us to volunteer  their time to help. We need to submit a letter  of inquiry. Then you would stay in contact with  the program staff does review these LOIs and, depending on the  strategic fit of their organization or project, they will reach out for  further information or a meeting at that time. We have more resources to  find more information about the nonprofit environment  program’s grant making process and strategies.


     

        Our project is requesting a grant to recreate the 1990 print version of NYC Park's The Great Tree Walk Guide as a website, social media site and phone app.  As  the name suggests The Great Tree Walk Guide was a field guide to visit  and learn about the story of all NYC's great trees. Today's web version  will go much further. Through visiting our communally owned trees and  share the experience the app, website and social media site will provide  inclusive opportunities for all people's of race, age, sexual  orientation to sharing a dialogue regarding social, political, cultural  and economic issues, history, horticulture and spirituality the  experience of visiting our great trees. It's also just fun for all types  of groups from school children and seniors and everyone in between. The  project is innovative and makes continuously new scholarly  presentations of horticultural, history, arts and many other articles  based our city's great trees. The great openness and democracy of both  the Web and Social Media will allow the gift of this 1990 publication to  have a global reach spreading the legacy of the contributions these  trees have made to NYC ecology and population before even the Dutch  settled New Amsterdam. Content can be added by all artists, arborists,  horticulturalists, historians, anthropologists to mention a few of the  many professional opportunities the project provides not just for New  Yorkers but, all people around the world.


     



    Adventure Play

    Neighborhood Open Space Coalition is initiating a program based on the  philosophy that children need simple open spaces activities in their  neighborhoods in addition to formal playgronds they already have. Pop-Up  Adventure Playgrounds are free, public celebrations of child-directed  play, stocked with loose parts (such as cardboard boxes, fabric, tape  and string) and staffed by playworkers.  An introductory version of the  classic adventure playground model, they gently introduce themes of risk  and freedom by welcoming people of all ages and abilities to play  together. They'll be encouraged to explore without being told “be  careful” and “watch out.” The temporary pop up play events will be held  in parks and city squares and are staffed by “playworkers,” adults  trained in the art of facilitating play by mostly staying out of the  way. The playworkers ensure that hazards have been removed from the  environment. By using discarded materials with hand tools to build,  destroy, and play with them as they decided allows children to feel safe  taking risks in their play which is important in todays overly  programed sanitized society.  Creative problem solving abilities   encouraged by this play experience are increasing more valuable as  skills in tommorows job markets. Initially, Neighborhood Open Space  Coalition hopes to have events where they will gain the greatest  traditional media and internet attention in Manhattan's  internationally  recognized open spaces.