The Prospect Park Alliance, the nonprofit group that oversees the daily operations and maintenance of Brooklyn’s most-visited park, today announced the appointment of Sue Donoghue as its new president and Parks Administrator. Donoghue comes to the position having spent six years as a high official in the New York City parks department. She was responsible for managing the implementation of PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg’s much-ballyhooed sustainability blueprint that called for, amongst other things, the planting of one million trees across the city.
Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver praised the appointment, saying Donoghue’s work with PlaNYC “has brought benefits to millions of New Yorkers and our visitors with vibrant regional parks, hundreds of thousands of trees planted, more than 200 schoolyards converted to full-use playgrounds, and an ongoing commitment to making New York the greenest city in the world.”
Prospect Park, of course, is located at the nexus of some of Brooklyn’s richest neighborhoods (Park Slope, Prospect Heights), some of its fastest-changing neighborhoods, like Crown Heights and Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and comparatively less-well-off places, like Flatbush. (It’s a big park.) The Park Alliance itself hasn’t been spared from the anxiety over gentrification. As the Times points out, park conservancies, including the PPA, have been criticized for perpetuating disparities between parks in wealthy and low-income neighborhoods.
For her part, Donoghue said: “Prospect Park is first and foremost the backyard for millions of Brooklynites–from Flatbush to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Crown Heights to Park Slope, and for many more beyond its immediate border. As the Alliance continues its work with the City in improving and maintaining the park, we can’t lose sight of that. This is a park for the people, and it’s those everyday users who will continue to drive our work.”
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