Vote until Sun. April 7: The Public Decides which Park and Community Improvements Get Funded


Starting March 30 through Sunday, April 7, all NYC residents age 11 up, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, are eligible to vote online or at polling sites in support of community improvement projects totaling $1million in discretionary funding for each council district. The projects winning the most votes will be funded. 

Just click on the link and you will be directed to your Council District and a list of proposed projects. Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is located in Council District 4 under the jurisdiction of Councilman Keith Powers. You can preview the entire list at Councilman Powers’ website. Click on each item to see a short description and the associated cost. as well as physical polling sites.

You may vote for 5 of the 13 items proposed by Councilman Powers office. Three items on the ballot directly benefit DAG HAMMARSKJOLD PLAZA for a total of $270,000. We need upwards of 700 votes to tip the scales in our favor.

ITEM: New tree plantings to replace missing trees and tree guards.
Throughout Council District 4, $150,000. Dag Plaza is missing 9 trees! Our neighborhood lost many street trees during the November snow storm. Trees are essential to health, providing beauty and shade as they breathe out oxygen and absorb toxic gases.

ITEM: Security Cameras in Turtle Bay, $80,000. This item is designated for Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. NYPD and Councilman Powers office will determine the best location(s) to provide surveillance of the woodland landscape known as the Katharine Hepburn Garden.

ITEM: Floor Repair at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. $40K. These funds would augment a shortfall in the projected budget for repairing sunken, uneven areas of the plaza “floor” (asphalt hex pavers) in the 2019/2020 park renovation under City Council /NYC Parks Capital Funding Project. We have witnessed several accidents and serious injuries caused by uneven pavers.


Friends Join “Play Fair” Campaign to Advocate Funding Increase to Maintain NYC Parks

Friends of Dag Hammarskjold has joined the Play Fair Coalition led by New Yorkers for Parks and City Council Parks Committee Chair Barry Grodenchik to request $150 million be added to the City’s  annual budget to maintain and operate the NYC parks system—29,000 acres of parkland. At present the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR)  receives  less than HALF of ONE PERCENT of the city’s  annual budget for Maintenance and Operations (M&O), which explains why uniformed park workers are scarce and Park Enforcement Patrol are an endangered species.

The  campaign kicked off with a rally on the steps of City Hall (Feb. 28) and testimony delivered at the City Council budget hearing March 8th. Letters to the Mayor followed. Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza put forth our case on all fronts for a park that represents only 1.5 acres, but has big maintenance requirements, given its midtown location in a densely populated neighborhood and use as a staging ground for mass rallies (capacity 8000). The park’s  historic role as Gateway to the UN adds to security issues, and  the concentration of homeless shelters in midtown also impacts  this open space with the largest public garden on the east side of midtown Manhattan.

Although Parks’ mobile crew (welfare to work program) help  clean Dag Plaza, they lack the manpower to provide an adequate level of litter control/sanitation or routine maintenance like cleaning the park’s six fountains. For 20 years, Friends of DHP have outsourced plaza  and fountain cleaning to service providers like the Doe Fund,  but with costs skyrocketing,  the City must do its fair share. We appealed to Councilman Keith Powers to assist but essential park services must be built into the City’s annual  budget.


$17.96 million of the proposed increase in M&O for Parks would provide fixed-post crews to small neighborhood parks that currently lack a full time, dedicated staff. (That’s Dag Plaza!) while $47.17 million would allow the 48 largest parks to have dedicated crews. 

$6 million would ensure that parks are safe by adding 80 additional Parks Enforcement Patrol (PEP) in FY 2020, which begins July 1, 2019. The current Parks operating budget provides for about 300 PEP officers, of which  84 positions are privately funded.

$3.9 million would mean that 395 playgrounds could offer structured sports and afterschool programs for children in every district. 

$3 million would provide for 50 new urban park rangers to connect New Yorkers with the nature that surrounds us. 

Finally, the Play Fair coalition advocates base-lining the salaries of park employees so that they have a secure career path with excellence rewarded by  promotion rather than chronic agency attrition.  Regardless of economic conditions,  the agency is chronically underfunded and pressured to  raise  more money from concessions, be it  hot dog vendors and cafes or golf courses. 

2018 Tree and Menorah Lighting

Environmental Sculpture


Marcos Lutyens’ Universal Solvent is a bench sculpture with a sound component echoing the artist’s environmental  concerns. The bench is made out of water-jet cut, polished aluminum that mimics the appearance of a calm body of water marked by ripples in the contrasting, etched surface. Swipe the QR code posted on the nearby sign to hear a sound recording that explores myths and realities linked to water, an essential element to  life on planet Earth.

Curated by KJ Baysa and Qiuxiao Kun in collaboration with the UN Development Program and exhibited in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza by Art in the Parks, NYC Parks & Recreation Art & Antiquities.

Annual Members Meeting, Thurs. Nov. 15th, 6 PM

Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza holds our Annual Members Meeting on Thursday, Nov. 15th at 6:00 PM, 224 East 47th Street, Vanderbilt Y, 5th Floor conference room.

  • Vote to elect proposed  slate of officers and directors.
  • See onscreen photo display  of all that our organization has achieved in 2018.
  • Committee chairs report on their activities and volunteer opportunities.
  • Parks Department  presents  update on major park renovation with Capital Funding award from City Council and other park developments.
  • Officers  from 17th Precinct report on park safety and security, including  issues like homelessness.

Refreshments served. Come meet your neighbors and public officials. Find out how you can get involved in park preservation, advocacy, programming and upkeep.

Not yet a member? Click the DONATE button on homepage under Support and pay by credit card. You will be instantly enrolled as a member and receive a receipt. 

Oktoberfest is ON for Saturday, Raffle tickets for fab prizes


Our volunteers arose early to meet the pumpkin delivery and setup for Oktoberfest. So head over at 1 PM start time to Dag Plaza for a fun day. Be sure to load up on raffle tickets. Prizes include seats for  Broadway hit shows, summer camp tuition, restaurants, gift shops and salon vouchers. The kids will have the time of their life painting pumpkins and wielding their balloon animals and swords with faces painted for photo ops. There’s even a tennis camp for tots and teens  to work off steam.

Proceeds from donations go to bringing you more community events and park beautification.

Oktoberfest Saturday, Oct 13, 1 to 4 PM, rain date Oct. 14

Oktoberfest returns to Dag Plaza with pumpkins galore. Children decorate pumpkins; the clown paints their faces and twists balloons. There’s even tennis instruction  for kids from tots to teens.  Adults enjoy live music and meet your neighbors. 

Dag’s Patio Cafe is cooking up a special Oktoberfest bratwurst and berew  combo in addition to their regular fare for purchase.

High security and park lockdowns during UN General Assembly

This is NOT the week for a leisurely stroll through the Plaza. From Sept. 18 to Oct.1, 2018,  Hammarskjold Plaza is on high-security or  lockdown when state officials visit the United Nations during the General Assembly.  Expect marches and  protest groups from around the globe, some with amplified sound. Tudor City Place and East 41st through East 47th streets from First Avenue to Second Avenue will  be closed while the Assembly is in session. The garden is closed and barricaded.

18 September 2018: Opening of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly24 September 2018

      • Nelson Mandela Peace Summit
      • Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development [convened by the Secretary-General]

25 September – 1 October 2018: Annual general debate

25 September 2018: Action for peacekeeping [convened by the Secretary-General]

26 September 2018:

      • The fight to end tuberculosis [convened by the President of the General Assembly]
      • Commemoration and promotion of the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons [convened by the President of the General Assembly]

27 September 2018: Comprehensive review of the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases [convened by the President of the General Assembly]