Volunteer Call for It’s My Park Day, Sat. 10/22, 10 am to 1 PM.

Join volunteers in this citywide campaign to beautify and clean our parks. In Dag Plaza’s Katharine Hepburn Garden, we will plant spring-flowering bulbs, clean, rake leaves, mulch and enjoy the spell of autumn. All tools and supplies provided.

Walk-ins allowed but it helps to reserve so we can plan the work.. Email your contact info and estimated arrival time to (click on link) fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org

Location: Look for gate and garden shed behind fountain near park cafe. Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is located on E. 47th St. between 1st and 2nd Aves. Manhattan. Zip 10017

On Friday, Oct. 21, corporate volunteers from Pepsico and Google lend a hand.

Voices of Ascension Singers at Dag Plaza, 6 PM, Aug. 24

Enjoy uplifting a cappella choral selections exploring themes of nature with choral music from the 14th to 21st century. 

On the heels of their outdoor performance in Yonker’s exquisitely restored  Untermeyer Gardens, the Voices of Ascension Singers will present a one-hour program in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, Wednesday, August 24, 6 PM to 7 PM (rain date 8/25). Enjoy uplifting a cappella choral selections exploring themes of nature with choral music from the 14th to 21st century. 

The chamber ensemble is drawn from the critically acclaimed  Voices of Ascension Chorus and Orchestra, founded and directed by conductor Dennis Keene and based at  the  Church of the Ascension, the  oldest church on 5th Avenue, located  in  the heart of Greenwich Village.  This program draws on universal themes. Its setting in the Center Performance Circle of Dag Plaza, surrounded by trees and flowers, is sure to be uplifting. 

This  free performance kicks off Hammarskjold Plaza’s  participation in the Nature Heals campaign of Parks and Open Space Partners. New York City may have the densest population of any US city, but did you know that we’re also one of the greenest cities, filled with parks and gardens to renew our spirit and help keep us physically fit. 

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza and its Katharine Hepburn Garden is the largest public park in midtown east Manhattan. 


Sculpture Talk, Garden Walk and Cafe Social, July 20, 5:30 to 7 PM

The hydrangeas are blooming, bees are buzzing. Join us!

5:30 PM Meet artist Cecile Chong on the Sculpture Platform for an up-close intro to “El Dorado, the New Forty Niners”.
5:45 PM Tour the flower border with garden guide. Learn about pollinators, fragrance and what’s in bloom.
6:00 PM Convene at park cafe for artist’s inside story that spans continents, languages and geography. Kid’s art project too.

Coffee beverages and ice cream available for purchase at the Pink Moose Cafe.

Presented by Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in cooperation with NYC Parks & Recreation.

El Dorado, the New Forty Niners, an installation in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza with figures displayed on platforms representing the 17 United Nations Goals for Sustainable Development. Artist: Cecile Chong

Tulips on Parade

Tulips are the joy of spring gardens, emerging in April and May from bulbs planted in autumn . We have learned to choose varieties with strong stems that can stand up to the wind in Hammarskjold Plaza. Tulips are classified as early, middle and late, and the trick is to select a varieties for each bloom period to achieve a longer floral display. Hopefully, the late-season tulips will be in their glory when we celebrate the Katharine Hepburn Garden Party around May 12, her birthday,

Red was Hepburn’s favorite color and we make sure to include a vivid red in our selection.

Also blooming in May is the fragrant cherry laurel shrub. Your nose will let you know when the lacy flowers emerge.

Katharine Hepburn Garden Party, May 14, Live Music and Tours

Join us on May 14, 1 PM to 3 PM to celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s birthday (May 12) with a garden party in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street, Manhattan, featuring FREE live music, refreshments and garden tours. Meet your neighbors, greet city officials and enjoy the unfolding flower palette of spring. (Rain date May 15, same time).

The long-standing tradition dates back to 1997 and the park’s reconstruction when the community dedicated the new garden to the celebrated actress and good neighbor who fought to save the trees, sunlight and the charming character of Turtle Bay. Since then, Friends of DHP has organized the event, co-hosted with the Turtle Bay Association.

Award-winning vocalist Kimberly Hawkey and her band will perform tunes from the Great American Songbook and the Golden Age of Hollywood. Twice-winner of the NYC Cabaret Showdown and a recipient of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award, her performance style and musical virtuosity continue to wow fans and earn plaudits. BroadwayWorld.com calls her “a delightfully fresh-voiced treat,” while Cabaret Scenes notes Kimberly’s “exceptional musicality”; New York Music Daily praises “an irrepressibly cheery update on 30s and 40s sounds.” She has performed at Birdland Jazz Club, the Iridium, Symphony Space,   and the acclaimed Caramoor Center (Katonah, NY). Her international booking circuit includes the Northeast corridor with frequent appearances in the Hudson River Valley and Catskills.  

Kimberly has produced three genre-spanning CDs, showcasing both her intimate chanteuse/piano offerings, and her versatility as a bandleader. Her brand, Elvanelle Music, conveys story through song with concerts, education programs, and music for special events that bring communities together and transcend time. 

This year, the Bryn Mawr Club, NYC, will be joining the festivities. Hepburn began acting at Bryn Mawr College and graduated in 1928 with a degree in history and philosophy. The actress remained loyal to her alma mater, speaking at graduation ceremonies and other events. In 2006, Bryn Mawr established the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center and Medal, honoring both the actress and her mother, an 1889 alum, suffragist, and reproductive rights activist. The Hepburn Medal recognizes women whose work embodies the intelligence and independence of the 4-time Oscar winner known for her speaking her mind and breaking the Hollywood mold.  

LOCATION: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is located on the south side of East 47th Street between 1st Ave (UN Plaza) and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan. The performance will be in the center of park known as the “colonnade performance circle.”

The Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza is  a tax exempt, nonprofit 501(c)(3) community organization serving in cooperation with NYC Dept. of Parks & Recreation.


Contact: fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org

Annual Members Meeting, via Zoom, 6 PM, Thurs. Dec. 9, 2021

This year’s Annual Meeting will be VIRTUAL. Members/Donors of Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza will receive an email invitation to attend via ZOOM 24 hours in advance of the meeting set for Thursday, Dec. 9 at 6:00 PM.  At this meeting, members vote for the proposed slate of officers and directors. An annual review is presented, including financial statements and committee reports.

Even with  cuts to city services, the garden flourished and Dag Hammarskjold Plaza provided a welcoming public space. Summer concerts and Cafe Salon Talks brought us together, and the Annual Tree and Menorah Lighting closes out the year with Santa and holiday carolers.  Our cleanliness program includes the services of  a part-time custodian and the Doe Fund. We meet with city officials and agencies about public health and safety, and keep you informed through timely e-blasts. 

None of this would happen without the dedicated volunteers who serve as FDHP Officers and Directors. 



Volunteer! It’s My Park Day, Sat. 9/16, Rain 9/17, 10am – 1pm

In autumn, thousands of volunteers across New York City join together to spruce up our public parks. In the Plaza’s Katharine Hepburn Garden, we plant flower bulbs for spring bloom, clean, paint, rake leaves and enjoy the beauty of autumn. No experience necessary, tools and supplies provided. Children age 9 and up are welcome under the supervision of an adult Public health guidelines remain in effect. Volunteers receive a souvenir floral postcard. 

Arrive any time between 9:30 am and 12 Noon, and work for at least one hour. Please us know if you would like to participate so we can plan ahead!

HOW TO REGISTER: Email fdhp@hammarskjoldplaza.org and provide your contact info: name, phone and approximate time of arrival and departure. On event day, report to  welcome table at garden gate behind Pink Moose cafe. Early birds, OK to  show up at 9 AM. If weather is “iffy” check our website for updates. 

Note: Fridays between 10 and Noon remain regular garden volunteer sessions.  

Healthy parks make healthy neighborhoods! 

Concert Changed to Raindate: Friday, Aug. 20, 6 pm

Due to possible pop-up shower this Thursday afternoon, and 11 musicians traveling from all points, we cannot risk equipment and safety, so concert date is now Friday 8/20 at 6 PM. 

Enjoy sensual rhythms of the New Trends Orchestra led by Corina  Bartra, widely known in jazz circles as an acclaimed pioneer of Afro-Peruvian jazz with infusions of Latin trends. She has toured in Europe and USA, including appearances at the UN, Kennedy Center, and major jazz festivals.  


Night Out Against Crime and Park Blackout…where does the buck stop?

Tonight National Night Out Against Crime takes place  in 70 NYC locations, including Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. The 17th Precinct hosts the event from 5 PM to 8 PM, offering crime-prevention tips (watch out for those phone scams), kids activities, live entertainment and free food, courtesy of Ali Baba Restaurant. With all the hoopla, don’t get distracted from the subject at hand: how can we work together for the safety of our streets and parks? 

Last week,  the park lamps failed to light up after dark. As of last night, the plaza was still in blackout mode. Not safe. Ironically, the focus  of tonight’s event  is crime prevention. At what point does a 311 complaint escalate to an emergency? Are  311 and 911 our only option? 


FDHP President Sherrill Kazan made phone calls. When she met  Manhattan Parks Manager Wesley Hamilton at  the Plaza to discuss the location of a sculpture exhibit, she asked, “who is  responsible for repairing the electrical outage?”  Hamilton said he would alert DOT (Dept. of Transportation).  That was more than a week ago; the Plaza  was still  dark last night.

Linfei Yang, who frequents the park, stated, “It was pitch black, you couldn’t see what anyone on the benches was doing. I definitely wouldn’t feel safe walking the Plaza,  and it’s been that way for at least a week.” An FDHP director who walks her dog on the Plaza at all hours  sent SOS emails to CB6 and city officials, citing  the large turn-out for tonight’s event. We reached out to CB6, Councilman Keith Powers office, and the 17th Precinct, alerting then to the electrical outage. Word finally trickled through and the lamps are back on. Yet we still don’t have a direct line to DOT to request service when this type of electrical failure occurs. In the past,  we were told that the Department of Parks (DPR) is responsible for the lamps located on the Plaza while street lamps fall under the jurisdiction of DOT.


We encourage you to attend the 17th Precinct Community Council and Build the Block meetings. Get to know our 17th Precinct officers. NYPD has a big job on their hands and we need them to do their job. Our block officers Christopher Carlucci and John Lamneck do patrol  the park but there’s no set schedule. We want patrolmen to get out of their cars and walk the beat. We understand that police authority is limited by civil liberties, but their presence helps curb illegal activity. 

You also have a role to play. It’s time to speak up about the safety of the general public in our parks and streets. Public space is for everyone. 


We  serve as community “watch dog” for Midtown East’s largest park and garden.  FDHP custodian Raymond recently reported that 11 flood lamps on the  retaining wall of the garden were out. He happened to notice when he left his cell phone in the  park shed  and returned  at night to retrieve it.  The city provides the power,  but we  purchase the light bulbs, expensive LED floods with a long-life. Just one of the many ways we keep our park clean, green and safe. 

Join Friends to support the beautification and safety of our park by clicking on the green button below. Ask your neighbors to join too. Healthy parks make healthy neighborhoods. 



 a community-based, tax-exempt 501c3 nonprofit organization.