In the News

NYRP In the News 

Explore media coverage featuring NYRP. Access press releases announcing our unique initiatives and programs that strengthen communities citywide.

NYRP staff includes experts in the fields of horticulture, landscape architecture, education, community engagement, and more.

For media inquiries, contact Anne Tan-Detchkov at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 212-333-2552.

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Poor and Forgotten, a South Bronx Park Gets a Small Boost

The New York Times
On Wednesday, the parks department is holding a “scoping session,” or design workshop, for the community in which it will solicit ideas to improve not only the playground, but also the park as a whole. And the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit group founded by Bette Midler that has transformed struggling parks in poor Manhattan neighborhoods, is now in talks with the parks department about helping St. Mary’s.

For parks advocates, the tattered appearance of many parks in low-income areas carries a profound social cost.

“If you are a child growing up in a community where everything around you is in disarray, with trash and broken things, it sends a message that you don’t count,” said Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project. “If you walk through a well-maintained open space, even in a low-income community, you feel like your city is investing in you.”

Ms. Marton’s group adopted Sherman Creek, a former illegal dump site on the banks of the Harlem River in Upper Manhattan. In the past 10 years, it has created an oasis there, building and maintaining a children’s garden, a boathouse and paths that wend through native plants.

In the past year, the New York Restoration Project has worked in Mott Haven on a plan to foster connections between the neighborhood and nearby Randalls Island, with its major athletic complex. In a phone interview, Ms. Marton said it would be premature to describe her discussions with parks officials.

Planting for an Edible City

Metropolis Magazine
Lucky for us and our dreams of apple pie, food and trees go hand in hand. This fall marked a special event in New York when, for the first time in its history, the semi-annual MillionTreesNYC free tree giveaway exclusively featured edible fruit trees. Species included Indian Blood peach (Prunus persica), Asian pear (Pyrus pyrifolia), Chicago Hardy fig (Ficus carica), Prima almond (Prunus dulcis), and Pristine apple (Malus domestica). Giveaways ran through October, and 4,500 delicious new trees found happy homes in all five boroughs.

Michael Kors, Bette Midler, Scott Lipps and Alexa Chung go all out for Halloween

New York Observer
Friday night, Bette Midler transformed The Waldorf Astoria ballroom for a Halloween blowout paying homage to the work of Federico Fellini. The resulting “Fellini Hulaweeni” festival did not disappoint, and raised over $500,000 for The New York Restoration Project.

Midler was joined by Tony Danza, dressed as Elvis, and Michael Kors. Kors took the stage dressed as Fellini himself, toting a camera and sporting a ghastly orange tan, to award the best dressed party goers – one of which included fellow designer Narciso Rodriguez with husband Thomas Tolan dressed as Venetian clowns. “He totally messed with my brain, I had no idea it was Narciso,” Kors told the crowd, “We’ve known each other for a thousand years and I had no idea who the chic, chic clowns were!”

Setting the Stage for New Growth

The Wall Street Journal
Geraldine Stutz, best known for transforming department store Henri Bendel into a chic shopping mecca, posthumously left her mark on the La Casita Community Garden, located on 119th Street, near Third Avenue. A $250,000 gift from the Geraldine Stutz Trust has given La Casita, founded in 1990, a face-lift that included new plantings, barbecue grills and a small outdoor stage.

The project was implemented through a partnership with the New York Restoration Project, a nonprofit that supports the creation and maintenance of green spaces around New York City. Some $80,000 of the $250,000 will be allocated to long-term maintenance.

NYRP, Queens Library Team Up for Free Tree Giveaway

NY1 News
One hundred Queens residents were given the chance to expand their urban gardens and enjoy a fruitful spring, as the New York Restoration Project teamed up with the Queens Library for a free tree giveaway.

De Blasio and Parks Commissioner Silver Launched the Initiative to Build…

City of New York
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP today launched the Community Parks Initiative—a multi-faceted program to invest in under-resourced public parks located in New York City’s densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher-than-average concentrations of poverty. CPI’s first phase will target 35 community parks through a $130 million capital investment that promotes the full re-creation of these parks, $7.2 million in expense funding for Fiscal Year 2015, and $36.3 million in capital funding from the Department of Environmental Protection for green infrastructure improvements at these sites. CPI’s first phase will target 55 neighborhoods across the five boroughs, reaching approximately 220,000 New Yorkers living within a 10-minute walk of the targeted parks. In its entirety, the initiative’s first phase represents over $173 million in capital and expense funding.

“We are thrilled with the Mayor’s thoughtful and well-conceived plan to bring more resources to our city’s public spaces,” said Deborah Marton, Executive Director of New York Restoration Project. “For nearly 20 years, New York Restoration Project has been building and caring for parks and community gardens in our city’s least green, highest-need communities. The Community Parks Initiative increases the impact of this work, and we look forward to partnering with the Mayor and Commissioner Silver to achieve its important goal of creating thriving public spaces for all New Yorkers.”

Trees planted along Grand Concourse as part of TD Tree Day

New 12 The Bronx
Bronx volunteers spent the day Tuesday planting trees along the Grand Concourse as part of TD Tree Day.
The financial institution and the New York Restoration Project teamed up to beautify part of the concrete business strip. The trees will replace older trees damaged by animals and the environment.

Organization Gives Away Trees to Beautify New York Neighborhoods

NY1 News
The New York Restoration Project is giving away fruit trees as part of an effort to help New Yorkers plant and care for one million trees by 2015.

"Part of it is to take—to allow residents to take ownership of their community by planting a tree in their front or their backyard, or wherever they have property where they can plant a tree at. This is also an initiative to help beautify the neighborhood as well. By having trees in front yards or around the community, it makes people more inclined to walk around, safely in their community. And to feel like they have a safe and attractive community to walk through," says Robert Jones of the Bed-Stuy Restoration Corporation.

Bette in the Bronx

The Bronx Free Press
She recorded the song “The Rose” for the film of the same name; the movie was her motion picture debut.
Now, she is helping to ensure that they, and all manner of flowers and produce, keep blooming in the Bronx.
Academy Award-nominated, Grammy Award-winning actress, singer and New York Restoration Project (NYRP) founder Bette Midler attended the special ribbon-cutting held at the Willis Avenue Community Garden in Mott Haven this past Thurs., Sept. 18th.
The event marked the completed renovation of the garden.

Power to the People

AIA's Oculus
Enjoying a cultural event or relaxing with neighbors in an urban garden can be a welcome way of recharging one’s batteries. A new prototype for a community-garden pavilion by TEN Arquitectos, with Buro Happold, takes the idea literally. In case of a neighborhood power outage, the structure will offer solar electricity and Wi-Fi so people can charge their phones and access the Internet.
Design work began in 2013, not long after Hurricane Sandy left large swaths of the city without power. Emergency preparedness was on everyone’s mind. The New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a nonprofit organization that owns and maintains 52 community gardens in high-need neighborhoods throughout the city, and the eco-conscious Urban Air Foundation recruited TEN Arquitectos to design a new garden-shelter prototype.
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THE BRONX, NY, JULY 8, 2015 – Today, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) unveiled a transformative master plan to design, build, and fund a new network of connected open spaces that will improve quality of life and deliver measurable health benefits for South Bronx residents with parks, tree-lined streets, public art, bike lanes, and waterfront access.

NYRP and Bronx Museum Team Up to Bring Second Annual, Free Arts in the Gardens to Bronx Gardens

New York, NY, May 2015 – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and The Bronx Museum of the Arts are partnering for the second year to present a season of free arts programming in three NYRP community gardens in the Tremont, Mott Haven and Highbridge neighborhoods of the Bronx. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting. From June through August, the event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including movie night series; hip-hop, music, and break-dancing performances; ice cream socials; poetry readings; mural installation, and more.

NYRP and BAM Team Up to Bring Second Annual, Free Arts in the Gardens to Brooklyn Community Gardens

New York, NY, May 2015 – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) are partnering for the second year to present a season of free arts programming in four NYRP community gardens in Bed-Stuy and Gowanus, Brooklyn. With the goal of raising awareness and further activating NYRP’s wider network of public green spaces, the Arts in the Gardens series will bring communities together to enjoy performing arts in a natural, outdoor setting. From June through September, the event series will feature a mixed line-up of family-friendly events, including a movie night series paying tribute to the late Brooklyn-bred leading lady Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart; dance and music performances; story-crafting workshops; a month-long art installation; and more.

New York Restoration Project to Plant 825 Trees in the South Bronx

Starting this month, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) will plant the first of 825 trees as part of a large-scale tree planting and maintenance project in the South Bronx.

MillionTreesNYC Launches 15th Season of Tree Giveaways

As part of MillionTreesNYC, the initiative of planting and caring for one million new trees in New York City, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is launching the 15th season of the country’s largest municipal tree giveaway program. Thanks to support from lead sponsors, TD Bank and Toyota, and supporting sponsor, JetBlue, NYRP is partnering with 62 local community organizations to host 65 giveaways throughout all five boroughs to give out 8,750 trees. From March through May, New Yorkers can attend a giveaway to pick up a tree to plant in their front or back yards, gardens or commercial property.


On Friday, October 31, the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue was transformed into a center of ghostly, ghastly and ghoulish delights as Bette Midler presented New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) 19th Annual Hulaween Gala. Hosted by two-time Emmy winner Judy Gold, with a costume contest judged by fashion icon Michael Kors, and a performance by the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, guests were invited to unleash their imaginations for the costume party of the year – and the biggest annual fundraiser for NYRP.

NYRP Partners with TD Bank to Plant Trees throughout NYC’s Five Boroughs

October 1, 2014 – New York City, NY – New York Restoration Project (NYRP) staff and volunteers will be joined by employees from TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, across New York City to participate in TD Tree Days, a cooperative effort to plant new trees in local communities in need.

NYRP Celebrates Renovation of La Casita Community Garden in East Harlem

NYRP is celebrating the completed renovation of its La Casita Community Garden in East Harlem. Accompanied by NYRP Founder Bette Midler, Executive Director, Deborah Marton, representatives from the garden sponsor, The Geraldine Stutz Trust, local community members, and elected officials, NYRP will officiate a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the public garden. The renovation, which includes a raised stage for performances; a chalkboard and projection screen for educational activities; added seating to the front and back to accommodate visitors, and more, will enhance the space as a community resource. As one of nine NYRP community gardens in a network of green spaces in East Harlem, La Casita will strengthen the social and environmental resilience in this area.

NYRP Celebrates Renovation of Willis Avenue Community Garden in South Bronx

New York Restoration Project (NYRP), the Bette Midler-founded non-profit that transforms open spaces in under-resourced communities, is celebrating the completed renovation of its Willis Avenue Community Garden in Mott Haven, South Bronx. Accompanied by local community members, elected officials, NYRP Founder Bette Midler, and garden sponsors and supporters, NYRP will officiate a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of the public garden. Generous support from the Perlman Family Foundation endowed a transformation of the approximately 9,100-square-foot space, which includes the construction of a new pergola, shed, steel picket fencing, ADA-accessible raised planting beds, expanded butterfly garden, and more. In addition, NYRP’s partnership with TEN Arquitectos, Buro Happold and Urban Air Foundation, generated a unique kit-of-parts design for a modular casita. The first of its kind, the design of the casita provides a scalable, environmentally efficient and sustainable structure. The casita serves multiple purposes as a resting, dining and gathering spot; a stage for dance, theater and musical performances; and in the future, a free-standing energy center for charging stations with Wi-Fi. The new garden features aim to fortify the environmental and social resilience in the community, celebrate the heritage of local residents and demonstrate how well cared for green spaces can improve civic engagement, public health, and other quality-of-life measures.

Free Shadow Puppet Shows Enliven Brooklyn Community Gardens & Parks this Fall

Midnight Radio Show (MRS), a Brooklyn-based shadow puppet and fairytale theater company, is proud to announce the launch of “Twilight in the Garden Shadow Shows” a series of free, family-friendly performances in parks and community gardens throughout the borough this autumn. The series is funded in part by a grant from Brooklyn Arts Council and presented in collaboration with New York Restoration Project (NYRP), with the shared goals of making performance art more accessible; raising awareness of and further activating Brooklyn’s network of public green spaces; and bringing local community members of all ages together to enjoy free performing arts events in a natural, outdoor setting.
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