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New York Restoration Project Announces Deborah Marton as New Executive Director


NEW YORK, NY, June 2014 - The Board of Directors of New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is pleased to announce that Deborah Marton has been named Executive Director of the organization. NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open spaces in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Marton previously served as NYRP’s SVP of Programs, developing NYRP’s identity as an urban land conservancy working across municipal jurisdictions to increase environmental sustainability citywide. Marton created the vision for the “Resilience in the Public Realm” initiative, a multi-year initiative to foster social and environmental resilience by bringing all open spaces in one low-income New York community to their full potential.

“We are so fortunate to have Deborah as our new Executive Director,” said Bette Midler, NYRP’s founder. “As we approach our twenty-year anniversary, her vision, experience and commitment are crucial to the growth and success of NYRP as we continue to create sustainable, community-focused open spaces.”

Led by Marton, “Resilience in the Public Realm” recently kicked off on June 11 with an expert forum that gathered ideas of professionals from public health, architecture and design, urban planning, economic development, community engagement and related disciplines. Generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the first year of the project will recruit partners, select a specific neighborhood, develop a research and evaluation plan, and prepare preliminary design concepts. Marton will lead a team to create a comprehensive data baseline to demonstrate that high-quality, well-maintained public open spaces decrease crime, increase small business success, and improve mental and physical health.

“With Deborah’s experience, NYRP is poised not only to continue providing essential assistance to open spaces in high-need communities,” said Benjamin Needell, NYRP’s Chairman of the Board. “Through her leadership, NYRP will also spearhead major, innovative initiatives, such as the Resilience project, which will greatly change the landscape and quality of life for many New Yorkers.”

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role in leading NYRP’s work, which is exceptional and invaluable,” said Marton. “We build spaces in NYC's lowest-income neighborhoods, with community needs as the foundation of every design. No other conservancy works city-wide to improve quality of life, preserve culture, and strengthen community the way NYRP does. I’m proud and excited to bring to light what we do, which is globally unique.”

Marton dedicated her career to public space in New York City, with a special focus on merging natural systems with the built environment. She joined NYRP in 2011, bringing her extensive experience moving complex municipal projects from conception to actionable conclusions. As Executive Director, Deborah will manage NYRP’s work, overseeing all organizational activities, ranging from park restoration and operations in Northern Manhattan, renovation and maintenance of NYRP’s 52 community gardens, and implementation of MillionTreesNYC in partnership with NYC Parks. In 2013, she created the vision and program for a waterfront site in Northern Manhattan that will be developed as a center for recreational boating and environmental education.

Prior to joining NYRP, Deborah served as Executive Director of Design Trust for Public Space, making New York City’s parks and public right-of-ways more sustainable, catalyzed the redesign of Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza, strengthened Long Island City’s art community, and improved the New York City taxi vehicle and system, paving the way for the city’s new taxi, among many other projects and public programs. She was also Program Manager of New York City Parks Natural Resources Group and later associated with the landscape architecture firm Field Operations, where she collaborated on creation of the winning submission for the Fresh Kills Master Plan, and later served as the first Project Manager for that project. She received a Masters in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Design School and also holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

About New York Restoration Project (NYRP)

Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP is the only New York City conservancy that works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. NYRP is also the leading private partner of the City of New York in MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs. To learn more, please visit http://www.nyrp.org.


Anne Tan | PR Officer
New York Restoration Project
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