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Common Ground 2020

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Our Morningside Explorers Program for Ages 5 - 8 has been a huge success!

Applications are now closed but we hope to be able to offer this program again in the future.

The response to our Harlem Youth Gardener (HYG) program for ages 14- 19 has been overwhelming!

Applications for HYG are closed at this time. If openings arise over the remainder of the summer and the 2020/2021 school year we will reopen the application process. If you would like to get updates from us including about this program, please sign up for our emails.

Black Lives Matter

Our Board Speaks Out Following the Murder of George Floyd

We support all peaceful protests and pledge to recommit ourselves to dismantling anti-black racism and a culture of white supremacy. Read our Statement.

Recent Events and News:

Fill Out Our Park Survey!

Building on the input we received from our Community Forum in January we are gathering more input. How do you use the park? What would you like to see improved? Give us less than five minutes of our time and let us know!

Our President, Brad Taylor, submitted testimony pleading for sustained funding of parks during this pandemic in the NYC City Council's virtual budget hearing on May 21. Here is video of his verbal testimony. Please add your voice to this campaign by signing the New Yorkers For Parks petition.

May 22, 2020 News Alert! Our organization was featured in a major new article on the park community in The Nation. Read all about it.

Did you miss our Jane's Walk Virtual Park Tour?

As you may know we've led well attended tours of the park for a number of years. This year while we couldn't lead tours in person, we had a great time developing a virtual tour for #JanesWalkNYC organized by the Municipal Art Society using resources from Urban Archive

From the Archives:

Community Forum

We co-sponsored this community forum with the Borough President's office to bring everyone together and keep focus on moving the community forward with planning, programming, safety and resource sharing after the murder of Tessa Majors

Community Forum on Morningside Park Jan. 29, 2020 6:30pm at the Harlem PAL Center

Season's Greetings

Following the horrific murder of Tessa Majors in our park we are so grateful to our amazing park community for coming together with us to recommit to our mission to continue the park's revitalization. On the Winter Solstice more than 200 gathered around this beautiful tree at 121st Street for fellowship and strength. We've posted these videos and pictures of the event.

20 Anniversary Tree Lighting tree decorated with the expert assistance of Focus Lighting.

As 2019 comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce that we are funding an additional park worker in the park. Thanks to our generous donors Friends of Morningside Park is providing employment for Alonzo Lewis (pictured below) to continue his work with Gardener Ben Shupp.

Friends of Morningside Park is pleased to be funding the employment of Gardener's Assistant Alonzo Lewis'

News Flash

  • Our committed and passionate defense of the park ball fields yields results.

    The ballfields in Morningside Park are a much loved amenity. Due to heavy use their condition had deteriorated. Thanks for the most part to an infusion of $50K in public funds the fields received new sod this Fall and look spectacular. Our organization contributed a water reel worth close to $10k to assist in the maintenance of the turf.

  • Our Organization helped secure $43M for City Parks in the current NYC budget!

    As one of the first groups to sign on to New Yorkers for Parks Playfair Coalition we worked tirelessly on these successful efforts to benefit all city parks, beginning with planning meetings last December and including rallies and testimony at City Council budget hearings. The overstretched staff in parks like ours deserve help, and thanks to this advocacy and our elected officials they will get it! Here is the announcement from New Yorkers for Parks:

    "WE DID IT!

    On June 14 City Council Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor Bill de Blasio included $43 MILLION IN NEW FUNDING FOR PARKS in the city budget! It includes funding to finally give 150 parks maintenance workers permanent jobs! Every year they had to wonder if they would still have a job at the end of the year - not anymore!

    It will also give funding to more seasonal workers, forest management, community gardens, Parks Enforcement Patrol and Urban Park Rangers, & much more!

    This is a huge, historic win for NYC parks and the millions of people who depend on them. Thank you to the Speaker and Mayor, and , MANY thanks to all the members of the Play Fair Coalition for all of your hard work getting us here. You made it happen!"

  • Our Local Community Board Gives Us Their Support. At their last meeting before the summer recess Manhatttan Community Board 9 honored us by passing this letter of support without a single vote against it. The letter recognizes our 38 years of park stewardship and urges the New York City Dept. of Parks and our elected officials to strengthen our relationships going forward.
  • We were honored by NYC Parks and our elected officials on June 15. We're thrilled that Parks officials such as First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro stopped by our Community Day event. Elected officials who gave remarks included Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brian Benjamin, and City Council Members Bill Perkins and Mark Levine. Senator Benjamin presented us with this proclamation recognizing us for our longstanding and continuing role as the primary advocacy organization for the park and for our 38 year history of accomplishments.
  • Friends of Morningside Park secured over $50K in private funding for the park in the past year. We funded a new water wheel to irrigate the ball fields, secured a grant for new Big Belly trash receptacles, and secured thousands for programs and plantings in the park.