Former New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey Joins Regional Plan Association as Senior Fellow of Parks & Open Space

Harvey to Establish New Program Identifying Opportunities to Build Parks in Underserved Urban Neighborhoods 

NEW YORK, NY - Regional Plan Association (RPA) today announced that Rose Harvey, former Commissioner of the New York State (NYS) Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, is joining RPA as a Senior Fellow of Parks & Open Space in the Energy & Environment Program. The fellowship has been generously funded by The JPB Foundation. 

Harvey will lead RPA’s effort to identify opportunities to create new parks in neighborhoods that are currently underserved by green spaces in Northeastern and Rust Belt cities. Over the course of this one-year fellowship, Harvey and RPA will analyze land use opportunities, engage stakeholders and local residents, identify partners, and design and identify funding to develop new parks that meet the needs of surrounding residents.

“We're thrilled to welcome Rose Harvey, a lifelong advocate for parks and distinguished public servant, to join the team at Regional Plan Association. For nearly 100 years, RPA has advocated for new parks and open space across the tri-state region, from the Palisades to Jamaica Bay. Rose’s vision and expertise provide a tremendous opportunity to expand this work, help communities that don’t have access to parks, and make open space accessible and equitable for everyone,” said Tom Wright, President and CEO of Regional Plan Association

“I am excited to join Regional Plan Association and help drive forward their vision and practical recommendations to provide more parks for people in urban communities that have few. RPA’s team and Fourth Regional Plan provides wisdom, expertise, knowledge and a blueprint for action in all areas of urban need, and it is a privilege to work with them,” said Rose Harvey, Senior Fellow for Parks and Open Space at Regional Plan Association

Appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2010, Harvey oversaw the development, improvement, creation, and programming  of more than 250 state parks and historic sites. 

After a 40-year drought in capital investments, Harvey helped conceive and execute Governor Cuomo’s one billion dollar Parks 2020 Plan to revitalize parks. She established innovative public-private partnerships with organizations including Major League Baseball and the American Red Cross, modernized and automated Parks operations, and drove forward special administration initiatives including the Empire State Trail, the Equal Rights Historic Center in Auburn, NY and Vital Brooklyn’s open space initiative. During Harvey’s tenure, Parks experienced a 28% increase in attendance. 

Before moving to the public sector, Harvey was a Senior Vice President and the National Director of Urban Programs at the Trust for Public Land, where she created over 780 new and enhanced parks and oversaw the purchase, financing, creation and conservation of more than $1 billion of land and new urban parks and gardens. Harvey joined the organization as an intern in 1983, later becoming Senior Vice President in 1996.   

The goal of the program will be to help finance, enable, and push cities and partners to construct parks in the communities of most need, with clear pathways for maintenance and programming.