The Bronx is the only NYC borough that holds an annual Parks Conference!

The first Bronx Parks Speak Up was held in 1995 to organize community groups around Parks’
issues, and to create a calendar of events in Bronx Parks. The day-long session was begun by the
Bronx Council for Environmental Quality as a forum for creating a calendar of events in Bronx

Over the years the event evolved into a “report card” for parks, with speeches by the Borough
Commissioner and the Parks Commissioner and discussions about surfacing issues. The Speak
Up led to a greater focus in the borough on the Bronx River, which is now a focal point of
community and government involvement. Breakout discussions allowed groups to network and
share ideas.

The Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces (BCPGS) formed as a result of the Bronx Parks
Speak Up. Today, the coalition comprises more than 30 advocacy organizations, including
housing associations, little leagues, civic associations, and parks and garden groups.

The BCPGS adopted a multi-point platform to increase the Parks budget; hire more, especially
skilled, personnel; preserve community gardens; and increase the opportunities for recreation in

Since it formed, the Coalition has had two major goals: first, to reach out to community
organizations in the Bronx and ask them to join the coalition and second, to continue to host the
Annual Bronx Parks Speak Up.