The Fund For Park Avenue

As memories of all the snow and ice finally fade, buds begin to appear on the trees and the tips of the tulips can be seen in the planting beds at the end of each mall. There’s nothing like spring on Park Avenue!

This spring The Fund for Park Avenue, one of the City’s oldest public-private partnerships, celebrates its 35th anniversary. It was Mary Lasker, a philanthropist and an early advocate of urban beautification, who convinced the Parks Department to plant flowers on the malls (Park Avenue’s parkland). Since 1980, The Fund has been relying solely on the contributions it receives from the community to plant and maintain the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls.

Each year the tulip color changes according to a list started in 1980. When possible, the color has a special meaning. For example, in 2009, orange tulips, Apeldoorns, honored the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s arrival in New York harbor and in 2010, white tulips, Ivory Floradale, commemorated The Fund’s 30th Anniversary. Because coral is the traditional gift for a 35th anniversary, similarly colored tulip – a Darwin Hybrid Ad Rem, was selected for this year.

This spring also marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the New York City Landmarks Law. As a member of the NYC Landmarks50 Alliance, The Fund has joined other cultural institutions and individuals to help promote the understanding and appreciation of NYC landmarks and history. To pay homage to this important anniversary, a border of blue and white pansies representing the colors of the New York City’s flag will surround the coral tulips in the planting beds that face the larger intersections.

The Fund for Park Avenue also manages the annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting, a tradition dating back to 1945 and The Fund’s Sculpture Committee works closely with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s Public Art Program to present a variety of temporary sculpture exhibitions at this unique venue.

Fund Directors: Ronald D. Spencer, Esq. Chairman; Mary Davidson; Eugenie Niven Goodman; Derek L. Limbocker; George B. Moore; Judith T. Steckler; Margaret M. Ternes; Ron Wendt, Ex Officio: Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Barbara McLaughlin, President Jo-Ann M. Polise, Executive Director

THE FUND FOR PARK AVENUE relies on support from the community to plant and maintain the trees and flowers on the Park Avenue Malls from 54th to 86th Streets. For more information or to make a contribution online, visit WWW.FUNDFORPARKAVENUE.ORG.