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Why Conservancy North

Northern Manhattan is sitting on a gold mine.  With its network of lush parks, glistening waterways, and living shorelines that teem with marine and avian life, the northern tip of Manhattan fairly overflows with potential. 

Imagine blue green public spaces that contribute to:
•    The community’s physical and social health as recreational centers;
•    The future of the community’s children as outdoor education centers;
•    The community’s economic well-being as tourism drivers and centers of green entrepreneurism; and
•    Overall environmental health and sustainability;

Northern Manhattan is sitting on a landmine.

Sadly, much of the area’s potential remains untapped.   Our parks do not get the funding and attention received by parks in better-heeled neighborhoods.  Private development projects and municipal facilities have limited waterfront access, and in some cases, created serious environmental hazards.  Innovative programing ideas do not gather the public momentum needed to break through bureaucratic and logistical barriers.  On top of all of this, issues of social and environmental justice divide this diverse and largely lower-income community, threatening to turn wasted opportunity into a more intractable lose-lose situation.

It’s time to trade the landmine for the gold mine.


Conservancy North was created by Northern Manhattan residents and other stakeholders who hoped to unify and strengthen the voice of the community in order to help it realize the full benefit of its public space resources.   

Conservancy North has been working since 2011 to ensure that the community’s interests are represented in public space issues.  We initially worked with New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) to help organize the community, grow a petition, and develop the Community Benefits Agreement associated with Columbia University’s Baker Field expansion project.  Though the public was late in getting to the table and the resulting Agreement is far from perfect, when the Agreement is executed*it will enable us to implement a Granting Program that will provide meaningful opportunities to a wide variety of organizations that operate in Isham Park and Inwood Hill Park.

As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, Conservancy North is also able to support new and developing organizations through fiscal sponsorship, grant planning, and other services.  If you live, work or go to school in Northern Manhattan, or if you simply love the area’s unique outdoor spaces, we invite you to stand with us and stay informed by signing up to our periodic newsletter.  

*To date Conservancy North has persevered in its attempts to break through the political and bureaucratic standoffs that have delayed the execution of the Baker Field Community Benefits Agreement for close to 3 years.   We have reason to believe that good news is finally on the horizon, and will post updates here as soon as they are available.  Please sign up with the Conservancy North 

Community Benefits

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