WHO WE ARE
The East Village Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, community-based organization of volunteers who are committed to the care, restoration and expansion of East Village public parkland. Building upon our rich, local heritage of diversity and community activism, and working in partnership with governmental agencies and like-minded community organizations and businesses, we work to ensure that our green spaces survive and prosper.
The EVPC is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation with an elected board of directors and an ex-officio advisory board which includes public officials, business persons, leaders of community institutions, horticultural experts and representatives of youth and educational programs.
All donations to the East Village Parks Conservancy are fully tax-deductible.
Brief History of the Organization
During the Spring of 1995, the owners of three Village restaurants, Veselka, Two Boots and Life Cafe decided to form The East Village Parks Conservancy. They approached their neighbors and developed a mission statement which was simple and to the point: “To clean Tompkins Square and add plants.”
The first chairperson was Sandra Turner. She lived on the ground floor of the yellow building across from Tompkins Square, halfway between the Library and Life Cafe. Sandra’s local political activities were restricted by illness, yet she agreed to try directing the new group from her kitchen table. She did attend a couple of meetings in the Park itself in a wheelchair, but her kitchen was certainly centrally located and the arrangement worked well. In the summer, when her windows were open, she could even hear Harry, the Parks Department’s “Keeper of the Park,” boom out over his loudspeaker system, “Good Morning, Sandy .”
Sandra died in February of 1977. Those who want to stay in touch with their personal memories of her can always do so at the red-leafed street tree planted across from her window. It has a brass plaque dedicated to her as “An Advocate for Parks.” The rest of us can more simply enjoy the “Sandra Turner Garden” in Tompkins Park, located between the central flagpole and the Temperance Fountain. Tom Murphy, a volunteer gardener, makes this a garden that would have met Sandy’s high standards. It looks beautiful at any time of year.