Interior Dept. Joins NYC to Run Jamaica Bay
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg signed an unprecedented agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and the New York Department of Parks of Recreation – spelling out ways the two agencies will cooperatively manage 10,000 acres of federal and city-owned parks in and around Jamaica Bay to promote visitation, education programs, scientific research and opportunities for outdoor recreation.
By allowing the National Park Service and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to work on each other’s property, comingle resources and undertake joint planning, this innovative new partnership will serve to better connect urban communities to the natural beauty and history of Gateway National Recreation Area and adjacent city park lands, according to a news release.
The agreement comes as part of the Obama administration’s vision to build and expand America’s urban parks so that they remain healthy, connected and accessible to every American through Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, launched in 2010. Salazar and Bloomberg made the announcement at City Hall and were joined by National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Director of the Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability David Bragdon.
“There is no better place than New York City to fulfill the vision of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative to establish a network of world-class urban parks across the country in partnership with state and local governments, local communities and city residents,” Salazar said. “The United States and New York City have joined forces to establish a single seamless park that is readily accessible to New Yorkers, and welcoming as a place to bring families, enjoy nature, get some exercise or learn about history.”
“This historic partnership will improve our city’s great natural treasure – Jamaica Bay – by creating restored, resilient natural landscapes, more outdoor recreation, new and cutting-edge research collaborations, and an improved, sustainable transportation framework,” said Bloomberg. “This is an important example of the great things that can happen when different levels of government work together and are supported by philanthropic organizations. This agreement fulfills important goals included our plans to make our city more sustainable and to enhance our waterfront.”
“The National Park Service is proud to partner with Mayor Bloomberg and the people of New York to make your neighborhood city and national parks more welcoming, more accessible, and more relevant for the citizens of this great city and visitors from around the world,” said Jarvis. “This partnership we are forging between Gateway and the city is huge step forward in upping our game in urban areas. We invite New Yorkers to get involved in the process and let us know what you want your parks to be.”