We’re excited to announce a major step forward in the fight for accessible green space.
For too long, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has been underfunded. Tens of thousands of working class and low-income Queens residents have had to make do with anovercrowded and poorly maintained green space. But now that’s starting to change.
Last week, as a direct result of our campaign, the US Tennis Association (USTA) committed $10 million to improving Flushing Meadows — and to involving the community in these improvements. Read more in the New York Times.
Members of Make the Road New York and our allies in the Fairness Coalition of Queens called on the USTA to solicit community input before moving forward to build new stadiums. For a long time, the USTA’s events have increased car traffic and limited public access to the park — problems that we documented in our March 2013 report, Double Fault.
The USTA did obtain permission to expand. But it also agreed to:
- Help set up an alliance for the park that involves the public.
- Commit $10 million for park maintenance and programming.
- Return to the city more land than it is taking for the new stadiums.
- Increase its community outreach.
The USTA’s investment will be the first major investment from a city park tenant in decades. It will help ensure that New Yorkers enjoy new facilities and cleaner fields.
The USTA has also committed to hiring more Queens residents and to mitigating the impacts of their events. We look forward to working with the USTA to implement this plan and to continue to strengthen their ties to our community.
This accomplishment belongs to the members of MRNY and to our partners in the Fairness Coalition of Queens. We also thank Congressman Joe Crowley, Assemblyman Jeffrion Aubry, and City Council Members Julissa Ferreras, Danny Dromm, Leroy Comrie and Stephen Levin for their leadership on this issue. We would not have reached this point without them.