Annual Report 2021

View the complete PDF of our 2021 Annual Report

From Our Executive Director

The past two years in our beloved city have felt anything but stable. Life under COVID has been incredibly disruptive for us all, but when I have moments of doubt or despair, I remember what grounds me. I try to focus on what is solid and reliable.

The work we do at New York Restoration Project is one of those things.

Throughout the pandemic, we have welcomed record numbers of people to our 80+ acres of parks and 52 gardens. Some garden memberships have even grown by almost 150 percent! We’ve also received a steady stream of applications to our Gardens for the City program, which builds new gardens for partner organizations including schools, NYCHA properties, harm reduction centers, and houses of worship. All told, we built nearly two dozen new green spaces this past year alone.

I have been especially proud to welcome our first staff members uniquely dedicated to supporting urban agriculture citywide. As food production experts, our urban agriculture team has dived headfirst into assisting our 700+ community gardeners cultivate over 18,000 sq. ft. of raised beds across the city. They have also expanded their reach by advising our current and past Gardens for the City partners.

One of the greatest advancements we made over the past year was returning to safe in-person gatherings. Although we pushed back the start of the season out of an abundance of caution, we still rounded out the year by hosting almost 80 public programs for more than 2,500 community members including food distributions, poetry readings, bookbinding workshops, mural unveilings, and movie nights. In October, we also threw our annual Hulaween gala in-person and fully vaccinated. It was a thrill to see so many of our supporters in one place sporting disco glam for the night’s Boogie Frights theme!

While it’s impossible to know what the pandemic might present next, at NYRP, there’s no question that New Yorkers continue to need our parks, gardens, and services more than ever before. Safe spaces to get outside and breathe fresh air couldn’t be more vital than they have been over the past two years and we owe it to our gardeners, staff, volunteers, board, and supporters like you for making this work possible.

Thank you for your dedication to New York Restoration Project, and by extension, our city. I look forward to working with you in 2022.

With gratitude,

Lynn B. Kelly, Executive Director

From Our Board Co-Chairs

We have seen over the past two years how our resilient city has adapted to its new normal, and at New York Restoration Project, we are proud to be part of positive change.

In 2020, we witnessed how food insecurity ravaged our city and how isolation and social distancing negatively affected the mental health of many New Yorkers. Adapting our work to these growing needs, this year we were proud to offer an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables from our spaces. As ever, we continued to steward accessible green space for New York City residents to safely connect with their community.

As it became safer to gather this past spring, NYRP returned to hosting community workshops and events. And, with COVID-19 safety measures in place, we were even able to host our annual Hulaween gala in-person after moving the event online last year.

In addition to a busy year of in-person programming, we also:

  • Removed 105,000 pounds of trash from parks
  • Composted 85,000 pounds of organic materials
  • Planted 4,000 perennials and shrubs
  • Planted 250 trees
  • Worked with over 700 urban gardeners to cultivate nearly 18,000 sq. feet of raised beds full of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Hosted 78 public programs for over 2,500 community members
  • Built 22 new green spaces at schools, community organizations, and public housing campuses around the city

NYRP has succeeded this year thanks to our strong leadership, passionate staff and volunteers, and dedicated donors. As our city continues to heal and adjust, NYRP is committed to working with our communities to tackle issues of environmental and social injustice and do our part to aid in New York City’s recovery.

Thank you for championing our mission to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to clean and enriching green space. Despite the challenges we have faced, your support has continued to make a difference in our communities around this beautiful city.

With gratitude,

Helena Durst and Darcy Stacom
Board of Trustees Co-Chairs

Mission and Values

New York Restoration Project believes that access to nature is a fundamental human right.

Read More

Revitalizing Open Space

New Yorkers want to be outside. While 2021 brought some reprieve from the pandemic, the demand for places to simply sit in the shade or spread out in the grass has never been greater.

Read More

Cultivating Environmental Leaders

Throughout this season, our 700+ community gardeners wasted no time organizing almost 80 events to meaningfully reconnect their communities to their spaces.

Read More

Building Urban Resilience

Perhaps no time in recent history has tested the resilience of New York City more than the past two years. While solutions to these larger problems exceed the bounds of any one organization, we have seen our parks and gardens play a critical role in the communities we serve.

Read More


2021 Operating Revenues $6,463,508

All figures are based on audited financials.

financial chart

2021 Operating Expenses $6,672,456

This statement of functional expense does not include work that has been capitalized. In FY21, NYRP made renovations and improvements valued at $938,120 to our community gardens and parks. As described in this report, these capital improvements are designed to ensure that NYRP’s green spaces will be functional, accessible, resilient, and beautiful for years to come. 

financial chart

2021 Leadership


Board of Trustees

Bette Midler, Founder 
Helena Durst, Co-Chair 
Darcy Stacom, Co-Chair 
Vered Rabia, President 
Darryl Pardi, Treasurer 
Samuel Ashner
Betty Y. Chen
Todd DeGarmo
Edmund Hollander
Walter Hood
Michael Kors
Michael Lorber
Shelly Malkin
Erhard Marius
James L. Nederlander
Benjamin F. Needell.
Janice Parker, Ex Officio 
David Rockwell
Joshua Sirefman
Sophie von Haselberg
Ann Ziff
Jann S. Wenner, Emeritus

Chairman’s Council

Janice Parker, Chair 
Pamela S. Baptiste
Charles Bendit
Adrian Benepe
Noble Black
Diane Brownstone
Alexandra Cohen
Douglas Durst
Amy Goldman Fowler
Tim Gunn
Mychal Johnson
Sophie Coquillette Koven
Jakob Levison
Rob Light
Margo MacNabb Nederlander
Joshua Rider
Paul D. Selver
Andrea Woodner


urban farm aerial view

The half-acre New Roots Community Farm in the South Bronx is our largest Gardens for the City renovation to date.


We are grateful for our generous donors who ensure that we can serve our city when it needs us most.

This alphabetical list includes donors who gave $1,000 or more between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021. This list has been prepared with care but if there is an error, please notify us at [email protected].

Barbara A. Abeles
Ginger & Barry Ackerley Foundation
Jerome Adler
Linda Allard
Mark Anderson
Anonymous (8)
Apollo Global Management
Patrick Arangio
Samuel M. Ashner
Susan Ashner
Atlas Capital
Bruce Baughman
Charles Bendit
David and Robbie Bent
Helen Bernstein
Frank J. Bisignano
Noble Black and Marc Rozic
Loren Blackford
The Blackstone Group
Bloomberg Philanthropies
BNP Paribas
Bolivar Builders
Jason Bowman
Arnold N. Bressler
Bring It Style Inc
Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS
C.A.L. Foundation, Inc.
Debra Campbell Stillman
Carbon Direct
CBRE Foundation, Inc.
Betty Y. Chen and Peter Coombe
Diane M. Chesnut
NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund
JP Morgan Asset Management
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Cognitive Behavioral Consultants, LLP
Jonathan Lee Cohen
Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
Coombe Family Fund of The Greater Cincinnati Foundation
Sophie Coquillette Koven and Jamie Koven
Susan Courtemanche
Tracey Cunningham
Carole Bayer Sager and Bob Daly
Nancy Deering Chinn
Todd DeGarmo // STUDIOS Architecture
Randy DeLelles
Delicious Dessert Charitable Fund
Discovery, Inc.
Beatrice S. Domingo
Lauren Donner
Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Susanne and Douglas Durst
The Durst Organization
EarthShare New York
Eastdil Secured
Ellen and Richard U. Levine Fund
Mica Ertegün
Ettinger Foundation
Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement
Tony Felzen
The Ferriday Fund Charitable Trust
Casey and Matthew Fisher
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, & Jacobson
David Geffen Foundation
Jonathan Goldberg
Robert Goldberg
Jerrold Goldman
Amy Goldman Fowler and Cary Fowler
John and Marcia Goldman Philanthropic Fund
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
Ron Gonen
Greenacre Foundation
Deborah A. Griffin
Marni J. Grossman
Allen and Deborah Grubman
Russel T. Hamilton
The Joseph Handleman “I Believe in You” Trust Foundation
Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks
Kitty Hawks and Lawrence Lederman
The Morris A. Hazan Family Foundation
Molly Helfet
Steven Herman
David Heymann
Edmund D. Hollander, FASLA
Walter Hood
James C. Hormel
Jessica Hu and Jonathan Eddy
Barbara C. Hunt
Jo Iaciofano
J&AR Foundation
Raphael G. Jacobs
Elton John Charitable Fund
Jeffrey C. Johnson
Norman Kahn
David H. Kaufman
Katharine Keenan
Michael Kors and Lance Le Pere
The Kors Le Pere Foundation
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Nikki Kule
L & R Donner Foundation
Lafayette 148 New York
Helen D. Lally
Karen Lauder
The Ralph and Ricky Lauren Family Foundation, Inc.
Jakob Levison
Robert Light
Loewi-Lemberger Kaplan Charitable Fund
Linda London Ltd.
The Edith W. MacGuire Charitable Trust
Scott and Laura Malkin
Shelly and Tony Malkin
The Malkin Fund, Inc.
Erhard Marius
Douglas S. Marron
Penny Mason
Peter McCann
Arlene McKay
Jonathan and Sandra Merrill
Miami Foundation
Doug Middleton
Bette Midler and Martin von Haselberg
Larry Milstein
Irene l. Minkoff
Janet and Tom Montag
Morgan Stanley
Hanna and Jeffrey
Moskin Family Fund
MRB Foundation
Thomas Capasse
Margo M. and James L. Nederlander
Kathy and Ben Needell
Norinchukin Foundation
Kenneth O’Connor
Abraham and Cynthia Ofer Onemain Holdings
Janice Parker, ASLA
Elizabeth T. Peabody
Cassandra Pierson
Mary Louise Pierson
Nancy and Fred Poses
Posner-Wallace Foundation
Post Harvest Technologies, Inc.
Proskauer Rose LLP
Vered Rabia
Caryl B. Ratner
Katharine J. Rayner
Related Companies
Joshua Rider
Timothy A. Robert
Marjorie Rosen
The Estate of Nancy Rosenthal
Clifford Ross and Nicolette Donen
Janet Ross
May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc.
S&P Global
Alex Sapir
Stephen Scanniello and Dane Twining
Ingrid Scheib-Rothbart
Robin B. Tost
Paul D. Selver
Hector Serrano
Stephen Shapiro
The Timothy C. Shepard and Andra Georges Philanthropy Fund
David M. Sherman
The Shubert Organization
Wendy Silverstein and Family
James and Marilyn Simons
Joshua Sirefman and Sarah Kim
SL Green
Aida Slabotzky
Iris and Michael Smith
Patty Smyth and John McEnroe
Henry T. Snee
Richard and Donna Soloway
Spirit Halloween
Darcy Stacom, CBRE
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
The Steedman Family Foundation
The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
David Steinhardt
Allison Stern
Jon Recor and Daniel Stewart
The Dorothy Strelsin Foundation
Strong Foundation of New York
Taconic Investment Partners
The Walt Disney Company, Inc.
Third Bridge
Tiger Baron Foundation
Tishman Speyer
Deirdre Towers
The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Robert L. Turner
Turner Broadcasting System Inc.
United Airlines
JP Morgan Chase
The Verrill Foundation
Viking Global Foundation Inc.
Alex Volckhausen
Sophie F. von Haselberg and Harry Guinness
Vornado Realty Trust
Linda Wachner
Carol Wall
Charlene and Aaron Welsh
Bunny Williams
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Kenneth Wisdom
Andrea Woodner
Jennifer L. Wray
Elaine P. Wynn & Family Foundation
Ann Ziff
Isaac Zion