New York Restoration Project (NYRP)
New York Restoration Project (NYRP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to reclaiming
And restoring New York City parks, community gardens and open space. In partnership with
The City of New York, NYRP is also leading MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care
For one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs by 2017.
Since the organization’s founding by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP has achieved dramatically
Results by investing in the greening and beautification of underserved communities throughout
New York City. Working in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks &
Recreation, NYRP staff, AmeriCorps members, and community and corporate volunteers have
Planted hundreds of thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers to support the restoration of public
Parks and community gardens; restored and help maintain six New York City parks; and
Removed more than 2,000 tons of garbage from the City’s green spaces. In 1999, Midler and
NYRP saved 114 community gardens from commercial development and established the New
York Garden Trust to ensure NYRP’s precious plots of land remain public gardens in
NYRP is also responsible for transforming an illegal dumping ground along the Harlem River
Into the five-acre Swindler Cove Park and building the adjacent Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse-
The first floating boathouse on the river in over 100 years. At Swindler Cover Park and in
NYRP’s community gardens, New Yorkers are being introduced every day to the importance
of having green space and respecting nature in urban neighborhoods. In fact, NYRP’s
Environmental educational programs and community events currently serve thousands of New
York City youth, families and educators.
                                                                                                                                                                       Bette Midler, Founder
Since 1995, the award-winning actress and singer has been a tireless, passionate and influential advocate for New York City’s most neglected and forgotten spaces and, as such, has been responsible for rescuing parks and scores of community gardens in underserved neighborhoods throughout the city’s five boroughs. Bette’s initial and ultimate visions for New York Restoration Project (NYRP) and its role in the greening of New York City continue to steer NYRP in both inspiration and execution at every level of the organization.
Bette is NYRP’s principal fundraiser and primary cultivator of donors, corporate partners and members – tirelessly rolling up her sleeves and getting involved in NYRP’s many events, projects and programs. She is the main draw at NYRP’s annual Spring Picnic and Hulaween gala benefits, where her performances and commentary are anxiously anticipated each year, raising almost $3 million annually to support the organization’s efforts. She also leads selective donor tours of project sites, opens newly restored community gardens and – every year – generously donates to NYRP and its many programs.
Bette has received many honors for her critical work and leadership in protecting and restoring some of New York City’s most vital green spaces, including the 2002 Governor’s Award for Parks and Preservation. In 2005, she was made an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects and, in 2008, she received the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award, the nation’s premier recognition of women who have demonstrated great leadership and commitment to conservation.