Growing the Green Apple The Council on the Environment of New York City

When people think of New York City, they tend to think of things like Times Square, The Empire State Building, and Broadway—sparkly icons of the Big Apple. What most people don’t think of when they think of the city is green spaces. Sure, there’s Central Park and a few smaller parks scattered throughout the boroughs, but overall, it’s a concrete jungle out there.

But within the Office of the Mayor, there is one organization that is working to change that, and is committed to making sure that we not only maintain and increase the green spaces we have, but that we incorporate environmental awareness into other aspects of city life. The Council on the Environment of New York City (CENYC) promotes environmental awareness and solutions to environmental problems.

A Little History

Founded in 1970, the CENYC is a privately funded citizens’ organization focusing on open space greening, greenmarket and new farmers development projects, environmental education, and other special projects with the aim of making a positive impact in the lives and communities of New Yorkers.

Operating with the help of an army of volunteers, CENYC employs just 28 full-time staff and is supplemented with part-time staff and consultants. The city provides the office space and a small budget for mailings—which means that the lion’s share of the group’s budget is funded by grants and individual, corporate and foundation donations.

Given these constraints, the CENYC manages large-scale projects on a small budget. Besides providing education to the masses in the five boroughs, the CENYC has almost single-handedly brought agriculture to the city.

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