The Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) was founded in 1992 by a dedicated group of New Yorkers who saw the potential for improving Randall’s Island Park. Though the Park could and should be a great recreational resource for the City’s residents, it had fallen into decline and was in much need of restoration. The Alliance, pursuant to an agreement with the City of New York and working closely with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, spearheaded the restoration, development and management of the Park. Nearly 25 years later, Randall’s Island Park is without question New York’s premier destination for sports and recreation, and the Alliance continues to serve as the dedicated steward of the Park.
Since 1992, over $250 million has been invested into Randall’s Island Park through the work of the Alliance, the commitment of the City of New York, considerable State funding, and the generosity of many individuals, corporations and foundations; to join our alliance of supporters, please click here. The investment into the Island has resulted in a fabulous transformation – the Park is now a world-class sporting destination which offers New Yorkers outstanding recreational facilities alongside restored natural areas.
Through these ongoing efforts, Randall’s Island Park now offers New Yorkers over 60 athletic fields (more than half the fields in Manhattan!); Icahn Stadium, a world-class track & field facility; the Sportime Tennis Center, which features 20 state-of-the-art courts; the Randall’s Island Golf Center, comprising a driving range and two miniature golf courses; and miles of waterfront pathways. RIPA has focused not only on developing the Park’s athletic facilities but also on restoring the Island’s natural resources. In spring 2008, RIPA completed a $5 million restoration of the Island’s Little Hell Gate Inlet salt marsh and freshwater wetlands; today, the sites improve water quality as well as provide precious wildlife habitat. The Park also features an Urban Farm comprising a wide variety of produce in over 80 vegetable beds, including four rice paddies and an apple orchard. Additionally, the Alliance has made it a priority to better the Island’s passive recreational areas, which has resulted in improved picnicking areas as well as scenic pathways for walking, running and bicycling.
In addition to athletic facilities and expansive natural areas, the Island is also home to a sprawling event site that hosts a number of special events every year. Located between Icahn Stadium and the Harlem River, the event site has welcomed notable concerts, art fairs, and cultural festivals, including Governors Ball and the Frieze Art Fair.
Randall’s Island Park now attracts over 3 million visitors to the Island per year, many of whom are local children and families who participate in our free public programming. In 2014, RIPA undertook a comprehensive analysis of its public programming, which resulted in an initiative to provide more family-friendly events in addition to its youth programming. The Alliance now offers a range of free year-round public events at the Park, including festivals at the Urban Farm, waterfront and wetland activates, fun runs at Icahn Stadium, garden tours and more. In addition, RIPA continues to offer quality free youth programs including: a five-week summer camp, which serves over 7,000 children from over 30 community-based organizations from neighboring Harlem and the Bronx; Waterfront Stewardship programming, which provides opportunities for nearly 3,500 NYC public school students to visit, study, and volunteer; and our Urban Farm programs, which provide over 2,000 school children each year with hands-on learning experiences focused on organic gardening and the preparation of healthy meals.
Today, the Randall’s Island Park Alliance raises over 50% of the Park’s annual budget and employs close to 80 staff. The essential work that is done to better and maintain Randall’s Island Park would not be possible without the generosity of RIPA’s donors and the support of our many partners.
As we move forward, RIPA will continue to work toward improving and maintaining this remarkable City resource. We need help from people like you to sustain our momentum! Please join our team. Randall’s Island Park is now, and increasingly, where New Yorkers go to play – and the Alliance will continue to ensure that we all can enjoy the great outdoors without leaving our great city.
The Randall’s Island Park Alliance, Inc. (RIPA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works with the City of New York and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, cultural events and environmental exploration. As the dedicated steward of Randall’s Island Park, the Alliance sustains, maintains, develops and programs the Park to support the wellbeing of all New Yorkers.