Since 1995, the award-winning actress and singer has been a tireless, passionate and influential advocate for New York City's most neglected and forgotten spaces and, as such, has been responsible for rescuing parks and scores of community gardens in underserved neighborhoods throughout the city’s five boroughs. Bette’s initial and ultimate vision for New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and its role in the greening of New York City continue to steer NYRP in both inspiration and execution at every level of the organization.
Bette is NYRP’s principal fundraiser and primary cultivator of donors, corporate partners and members – tirelessly rolling up her sleeves and getting involved in NYRP’s many events, projects and programs. She is the main draw at NYRP’s annual Spring Picnic and Hulaween gala benefits, where her performances and commentary are anxiously anticipated each year, raising almost $3 million annually to support the organization’s efforts. She also leads selective donor tours of project sites, opens newly restored community gardens and – every year – generously donates to NYRP and its many programs.
Bette has received many honors for her critical work and leadership in protecting and restoring some of New York City’s most vital green spaces, including the 2002 Governor's Award for Parks and Preservation. In 2005, she was made an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and, in 2008, she received the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, the nation’s premier recognition of women who have demonstrated great leadership and commitment to conservation. In 2013 Bette was recognized by the Jane Jacobs Award by the Rockefellar Foundation for her tireless work improving urban life in New York City.
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