The New York Junior League’s Playground Improvement Project (PIP) is excited to announce that we will revitalize St. Nicholas Park in Harlem, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation!
Every year since 1992, New York Junior League (NYJL) volunteers, as part of the Playground Improvement Project, have designed, planned, funded, and completed a playground or park renovation. Initially focused on local school playgrounds, the NYJL eventually forged a partnership with the NYC Parks Department to revitalize public parks. Many Manhattan parks lack funding or staff to make general improvements to gardens, benches, and playground equipment. The NYJL helps meet these needs by contributing supplies and dedicated volunteer time.
A “ribbon park” bordering Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and Harlem, St. Nicholas Park was created in 1895 when the City acquired the land after the close of the Croton Aqueduct. The patron saint of Amsterdam, St. Nicholas contributes his name to two of the park’s surrounding streets, commemorating the Dutch farmers who settled northern Manhattan in the late seventeenth century.
Now, St. Nicholas Park brings together Harlem neighbors for festivals and other community events. It features basketball and handball courts, playgrounds, a dog park, and barbecue areas. Operated by the National Parks Service, Alexander Hamilton’s historic home also resides in the park. Residents visit the park to host neighborhood gatherings and barbecues, play catch, observe park activities from park benches, read, and exercise in the park.
In 1995, Harlem community members and City College formed the initiative “Take Back St. Nicholas Park” and renovated the park. In 2010, the New York Junior League beautified the park and is excited to return for another round of renovations this spring.
Due to COVID-19, the NYJL is only allowing current NYJL volunteers to help restore St. Nicholas Park during specific weekends in April and May. NYJL volunteers may sign up on the NYJL calendar.
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.