In May 2020, a coalition of national, family, and community foundations launched the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund (NYC Green Fund) to support stewardship organizations that care for New York City’s parks and open spaces. The Fund is intended to respond to the most urgent needs facing the City’s parks and open spaces, while spurring policy-makers to address ongoing systemic challenges, and provide adequate funding to maintain and improve them. The Fund was launched in response to the efforts of the Parks and Open Space Partners – NYC coalition to raise awareness of the financial impacts of the pandemic on open spaces. 


In the first year, the NYC Green Fund awarded $3.6M via 202 grants. This included 194 grants to stewardship organizations that provide essential maintenance, public programming, and management of parks and open spaces. At the request of the NYC Green Fund, the Central Park Conservancy’s Institute for Urban Parks looked closely at the major challenges facing parks and open spaces in NYC and released the NYC Green Fund Literature Review. Following this report, the Fund awarded 8 grants to support innovation and systemic changes, enabling NYC to manage open space more effectively, equitably, efficiently, and collaboratively. 


The NYC Green Fund will continue grantmaking to support stewardship organizations and systemic change and transformation in the parks and open space sector. The NYC Green Fund will release three rounds of grant funding in 2021. Application details and grant guidelines can be found below. 


The NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund is intended to grow, and we encourage those interested in supporting this work to donate now or contact for more information.


View our latest press release here.


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2021 Grassroots Support

  • Open to organizations with demonstrated experience working in NYC’s open spaces and annual operating budgets of less than $15,000.
  • Application opens in June for grants of $500 to $3000.
  • Grant Guidelines
  • Deadline and Timeline

    The application deadline is 12pm noon on Wednesday, July 21, 2021. Applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified of status by early September. 

    Projects must be completed within one year of funding receipt, with an interim check-in at six months and required reporting at project completion.

  • Eligibility

    Priority will be given to organizations with demonstrated experience working in NYC open spaces and annual operating budgets of less than $15,000 per year. Groups do not need to be a 501(c)(3) organization. Organizations that received emergency funding from the NYC Green Fund in summer 2020 that still have open grants are eligible to apply, but 2020 funds must be spent and the final report received prior to receiving the next grant. 501(c)3 status is not required; applicants may utilize a fiscal sponsor. 

     Examples of eligible applicants include: 

    • Groups caring for local parks.
    • Groups caring for community gardens.
    • Organizations caring for open spaces (including public plazas, street trees, water bodies, NYCHA properties, etc.).
  • Amount and Types of Support
    Grants of $500, $1,000, $2,000 or $3,000 will be awarded. Grant funds may be used to support spaces that are open to the public the majority of the time. This includes funding for:
    • Stewardship projects.
    • Safety supplies needs (e.g., personal protective equipment, enhanced sanitation measures, etc.).
    • Public programming that benefits community health and wellbeing (including physical fitness and mental health).
    Examples of eligible expenses include:
    • Tools and field supplies for stewardship.
    • Personal protective equipment.
    • Outreach materials.
    • Consultants/instructors for health and wellness programming.
    • Plants and gardening materials (mulch, compost, etc.).
    We do not fund: Electioneering, lobbying, litigation, general liability insurance, fundraisers, and local travel.
  • Criteria

    Funding decisions will be based on: 

    • Equity and community served: Priority will be given to neighborhoods hit hardest by the pandemic, environmental justice communities, and lower income communities.
    • Strategic alignment: The project aligns with the priorities of the grant as outlined. The proposal demonstrates a clear and timely need. Proposals that support open space maintenance and stewardship directly will be prioritized.
    • Feasibility: The intended outcomes or results of the proposal are feasible considering the activities and resources.
    • Budget: The project budget is reasonable considering the activities of the proposal.
    • Partnerships: Established relationship with NYC Parks, NYS Parks, U.S. National Park Service, NYC Economic Development Corporation, NYC Department of Transportation, NYC Department of Environmental Preservation, Metropolitan Transit Authority, Partnerships for Parks, GreenThumb, New York Restoration Project, The Hort, Brooklyn Queens Land Trust, Bronx Land Trust, Manhattan Land Trust, BANG Land Trust, or relevant agencies or land managers.
  • Grants Management

    City Parks Foundation (CPF) manages the day-to-day administration of the NYC Green Fund, which is governed by a steering committee of funders. Grants will be made from City Parks Foundation and all reporting information will be submitted to CPF.



2021 Systemic Change Grants

  • Grant guidelines and application to be released in fall 2021

 2021 Nonprofit Relief Grant

  • Round 1 applications have closed. Winners will be notified in late June 2021. If you are a current or past applicant you can access your applications here.


Generous private support for the NYC Green Relief & Recovery Fund is provided by The Albert Giving Fund,
Altman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Con Edison, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, The J.M. Kaplan Fund,
The JPB Foundation, Klein Family Foundation, Leon Levy Foundation, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust,
Libra Fund, Lily Auchincloss Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Prospect Hill Foundation,
Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), The Thompson Family Foundation, & many philanthropic individuals.