Six Strategic Goals & Project Highlights
Today, our scope of work is delineated through various Project Agreements. Our shared Strategic Plan provides six actionable goals. The partnership's first strategic three-year plan was conceived at Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in January 2006. To meet the stewardship goals of NPNH for the next three years—FY2010, FY2011 and FY2012—we are embarking on the next phase: Strategic Plan II. Herewith, are the six goals with highlights of several projects:
Goal 1: Accelerate and advocate for natural and cultural resource protection and sustainable development of NPNH.
Federal Hall National Memorial: Leveraging $16.5 million in FEMA funding, the Harbor Conservancy was awarded a grant by Lower Manhattan Development Corporation for $1.5 million to support rehabilitation of Federal Hall. This grant allowed us to partner with National Archives and Records Administration [NARA] and its Foundation to secure a fire suppression system to allow for the exhibition of the archive's treasures. NARA Foundation and the Harbor Conservancy completed a Federal Hall Vision Plan created by Ralph Appelbaum Associates that would feature the Bill of Rights Hall in Federal Hall as the centerpiece of the new museum. The Harbor Conservancy and the National Park Service began a multi-phase project to improve storage conditions, catalogue and then ultimately make accessible online to visitors and scholars, the archives of its national sites in Manhattan through a new portal. This project is made possible through a generous grant of $860,000 from the Leon Levy Foundation. In 2007, David Rockwell designed a NPNH Visitor Center in Federal Hall pro bono.
Jamaica Bay: Our goal is to leverage the hundreds of millions of dollars of public funding going into ecological safeguards and restoration in the bay to create significant public awareness and enjoyment of this rich resource. In partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and city and state agencies, we are working to restore critical salt marshes in the bay, a habitat for hundreds of species, and the lungs and nursery of the harbor. Our goal is to engage the diverse local communities around this effort, introducing them to the National Park Service and providing opportunities for recreational, educational, and cultural experiences. To accomplish this, we will work to identify and quantify financially the efforts and activities already happening around the bay, establish connections-physical and programmatic—between neighborhoods and agencies on the bay, and link these diverse and often underserved people and places to the national park. By introducing the public to the bay and encouraging use and understanding of the resource, the Harbor Conservancy will inspire a new generation of stewards for the bay.
Goal 2: Improve physical access to parks.
In 2008, Jonathan Rose Companies and Sam Schwartz Transportation created the first New York Harbor Transportation Strategy: Building Connections to National Parks, an implementation plan for visitors and commuters, to provide access to national park lands via all modes of transportation and through physical improvements, and to connect federal sites to each other and to other places. Over $40 million in federal funds has been spent on new docks and waterfront infrastructure at the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governors Island, Sandy Hook and Riis Landing—the latter allowing for the first regular commuter-recreational ferry service to the park, subsidized by New York City's Economic Development Corporation ($1.2 million). Future plans call for a new dock at Fort Wadsworth and expanded access in the Battery.
Goal 3: Expand opportunities for a diverse array of students, teachers and visitors to understand, enjoy, experience and appreciate the national park.
In 2004, Jane Clark Chermayeff and Associates created the first plan to provide programmatic connections to national park sites and other places on the harbor. As a result, the Harbor Conservancy has produced nine harbor and walking tours that tell the stories of immigration and new populations, the port and commerce, birth of the city and nation, harbor defense and the urban estuary. The iconic National Park Service Rangers are as recognizable in the canyons of downtown as they are in Yosemite. Through these tours, on board Statue Cruises, New York Waterway and New York Water Taxi, we have served approximately 125,000 new visitors, helping to fuel the engines of economic development. Future plans include packaging excursions for Statue of Liberty visitors to other places, including Governors Island, and producing specialized tours for students and teachers.
- America: Who We Are
- Gateway to America
- Jamaica Bay Kayak Trails
- Naturally, New York
- America's Frontline: The Military History of New York Harbor
- George Washington's New York
- The New Amsterdam Trail
- This Hallowed Ground Trail
- The New York Freedom Trail
Goal 4: Raise public awareness and stakeholder support of park areas, programs and services.
In 2006, C+G Partners created the first visual brand identity for NPNH, which included a family of 25 logos. This brand was introduced on the Harbor Conservancy's website and has since been expanded to include signage for our three new retail stores and park way finding, and will now be featured on the products developed by the Harbor Conservancy for retail and wholesale.
We produced on July 4, 2009, the ceremony opening the Statue of Liberty's crown and the February 27, 2010, dedication of the new African Burial Ground Visitor Center which resulted in increased recognition and understanding of these national park sites. Major future events include the reopening of Hamilton Grange in Harlem and the commemoration of our forts and their role in the War of 1812.
Our ongoing relationships with local newspapers have yielded significant advertising—in The New York Times, New York Daily News, Newark Star-Ledger and Staten Island Advance—as well as prime spots on metro New York radio stations featuring our mission, products and partners.
To extend our reach to new audiences, we created and maintain an informational and experiential website, nyharborparks.org that enhances the harbor tourism experience by providing a guide to federal and all other harbor sites and a host of free high-quality interpretative content. The site features audio and virtual tours, park ranger podcasts, mobile and desktop downloads as well as a myriad of social networking opportunities.
Goal 5: Enhance funding for national parks in and around New York Harbor.
Combined, federally appropriated funds for all sites exceed $50 million, a 14% increase in Congressionally-appropriated dollars. Since 2004, the Harbor Conservancy's private contribution has exceeded $10 million. In 2008, Community Counselling Services Co. completed a Feasibility and Planning Study Report examining a potential major fundraising effort for the Harbor Conservancy. It stated that: "The Campaign for New York Harbor has the potential to be the most transformative event in the history of New York's national parks…second only to their founding in importance." The goal envisioned was $15 million over ten years, creating a culture of philanthropy, charitable momentum, and a proven record of successful funding. These funds will be earmarked for General Operations, Endowment and Restricted Projects, specifically Federal Hall National Memorial and Jamaica Bay. With the National Park Service centennial slated for 2016, we will leverage national activities to recruit new local stewards and align with the President's Initiative for America's Great Outdoors.
The Tiffany & Co. Foundation committed the campaign's first $1.0 million for general operating support in 2008. Those funds were then matched with $600,000 in Congressional funding for programming.
Under the imprimatur of Department of Interior, we will embark on the Campaign for New York Harbor to enhance support and public awareness of these treasured landscapes. A Harbor Summit on New York Harbor and at Ellis Island was staged with the Secretary of Interior on July 26, 2010. Discussions are now underway to convene federal and local partners to adopt the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hudson-Raritan Estuary Comprehensive Restoration Plan, 296 projects of which 55 are in Jamaica Bay.
Goal 6: Create strong and viable relationships with appropriate leading agencies and institutions in the metropolitan area.
We have contractual partnerships through federal, state and city jurisdictional authorities that sanction actionable projects on federal land with the following agencies: National Archives and Records Administration, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and NYC & Co.
The Harbor Conservancy has additional contractual agreements with: The Foundation for the National Archives and Records Administration, The New York Times Community Affairs Department, The Fund for the City of New York, NY Water Taxi, New York Waterway and Statue Cruises.
We work on select specially-produced projects with NY Harborway, South Street Seaport Museum, Alliance for the Arts, Municipal Arts Society, Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, Downtown Alliance, and the National Park Foundation.
Additionally, we align advocacy for federal parks with the National Parks Conservation Association and for regional efforts with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Governors Island Alliance and Regional Plan Association.