NYC's Progressive Parks Chief Heads for Greener Pastures

After a decade overseeing a historic expansion of the city's park system, New York City's longtime parks commissioner Adrian Benepe has announced he's stepping down, reports David W. Chen.
June 18, 2012, 2pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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One of the last of the Bloomberg administration's high-level officials who's served the Mayor since the start, Benepe announced he's accepted a senior position the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization.

With the park system undergoing its greatest period of expansion since the 1930s, Benepe's accomplishments have been numerous. According to Chen, "He [Benepe] oversaw the addition of 730 acres of parkland, with 2,000 more at Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island planned, according to the mayor's office. He also played a major role in the creation of new parks like Brooklyn Bridge Park and the High Line, and the construction of parks near the new Yankee Stadium, and Icahn Track and Field Stadium and Randalls Island Fields."

"His tenure, like that of most high-ranking public officials, included some controversy. He clashed with street vendors and artists over park access, and his courtship of private funds to build and maintain public parks was viewed by some as problematic."

Benepe's successor will be Veronica M. White, the founding executive director of the city's Center for Economic Opportunity.

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Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 in The New York Times
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