Who owns and operates the park?
The 1.5 acres of park land is owned by the City of New York and operated by NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR).
What is the role of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza?
We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, community-based park association operating under the city’s Partnerships for Parks program. We serve as citizen custodians and park watchdog, providing most of the routine maintenance.
Friends of DHP contract maintenance services to clean the fountains and plaza while our volunteers tend the garden and perform administrative and programming activities. We facilitate many cultural and community events, working as partners with other groups. Donations and grants provid support for maintenance, supplies, repairs, and administrative costs. Sponsors make events and special exhibitions possible.
We welcome other organizations, property owners and agents who have a vested interest in the park to serve on our Advisory Committee. Healthy parks make healthy neighborhoods.
Do I need a permit to hold an event in the park?
If your gathering amounts to fewer than 20 people, you do not need permission. Please take note of ALL park rules and regulations and abide by them.
If your event is expected to draw more than 20 people, a permit is required, available through the permit office of NYC Parks & Recreation.
If you want to use amplified sound, this permit can be obtained through the 17th precinct AFTER you have been awarded a permit by Parks.
Can I have an Easter Egg hunt or children’s party in the garden?
The garden is unsuited to this type of activity because even small feet will trample plants and compact the soil. Parks with lawns and larger woodlands are better suited for recreational activities. However, we do encourage children accompanied by adults to visit the garden and enjoy its nature trail.
How do I report electrical outages, broken pavement, dangerous tree limbs, and dead birds/animals?
Call 311 and ask your neighbors to do the same. Also leave a message with Friends of DHP office at 212-826-8980. The more calls logged, the sooner we can expect a response from the appropriate city agency.
I noticed a person violating park rules and/or disturbing the peace. What can I do?
While everyone has the right to enjoy the park, no one has the right to abuse public property or others. Call 911 and report the problem. Do not try to take the law into your own hands. In addition, you may leave a message at out office: 212-825-8980.
Why is the garden named after Katharine Hepburn?
When the park’s garden was completed in 1997, the community dedicated it to 4-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn in recognition of the role she played as a neighborhood conservationist who fought to save the trees on East 49th Street where she owned a townhouse between Second and Third Avenue. The actress also helped preserve the neighborhood’s charming character and light by campaigning with the Turtle Bay Association to oppose development of tall towers on mid-blocks.
Did Katharine Hepburn leave an endowment for the park?
No, the garden has thrived through the generous support of the Greenacre Foundation, member donations and the labor of volunteers.
Did Donald Trump finance the park’s reconstruction and beautification?
No, but “the Donald” did persuade Mayor Rudolf Giuliani to pursue an alternate route for the cross-town buses when Mr. Trump learned that a remapping of the roadway would place the bus terminus on 47th Street across from Trump World Tower.
Why do park rules prohibit recreational activities like skateboarding and ball playing?
During its design phase, Dag Hammarskjold Plaza was designated “passive recreation,” as opposed to a playground or athletic court. The open space of the plaza was preserved as a historic gateway to the United Nations and staging ground for demonstrations and cultural festivities.