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Meet the Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee

Barbara Pasternack, Bonnie Comley, and Ruth D. Hunt

The untamed intensity of the city briefly gives way to the serenity of nature at Central Park, which is frequently referred to as the “green heart” of New York City. The Central Park Conservancy is essential in maintaining and developing this renowned jewel in this urban retreat. The Women’s Committee stands out among its devoted arms as a strong and motivating force that is fiercely committed to the upkeep and enrichment of Central Park.

For their yearly Fall Luncheon, the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy recently gathered next to the well-known Bethesda Fountain. A talented group of individuals led by Michele Brazil, Rankia Cohen, Stephanie Hessler, and Nicole Nunag successfully co-chaired the event. Together, they honored the achievements of Jenny Price, the Women’s Committee, Betsy Smith, the President of the Central Park Conservancy, and the great women who work for her. It was a chance to celebrate the accomplishments of yet another productive year of activities supporting the maintenance and preservation of Central Park.

Erica Blum and Betsy Smith

The Fall Luncheon of the Women’s Committee witnessed the participation of almost 200 members, who displayed great enthusiasm. Included in the group of individuals who played a significant role in advocating for and contributing to the cause of Central Park were Suzie Aijala, Enrica Arengi, Heather McAuliffe, Bonnie Comley, Sylvia Hemingway, Jahanaz Jaffer, Sharon Jacob, Elaine Textor, Stephanie Hessler, Ji Park Kwak, Julie Kim, Jackie Keber, Barbara Cirkva Schumacher, Charlotte Snyder, Patricia Shiah, Michele Brazil, Lauren Gilbertson, Karen May, Mara Siegler, Fe Fendi, Gillian Miniter, Sarah Brown, Yana Blackwelder, Natasha de Mallmann, Suzanna Bowling, Reem Sharaiha, Barbra Pasternack, Laurie Beard, Margo Nederlander, Stephanie Franken, Preeti Salvi, Adrienne Israel, Sarah Gronningsater, Cara Raleigh, Evette Ferguson, Gita Shaari, Ruth D. Hunt, Jerry Ann Woodfin-Costa, Nicole Nunag, Rankia Cohen, Michelle Friedman, Valerie Tornambe, Lisa Abramson, Lisa Berg, Genevieve Bolger, Aileen Bruner, Denise Tavani, Gretchen Matthews, Paula Giblin, Tatiana Perkin, Ngan Shulman, and Cynthia Chapman, among others.

Amy Hoadley, Sylvia Hemingway, and Polly Onet

The Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy was founded in 1983, but its illustrious past dates back to the park’s deteriorating years. Despite being a significant historical green space, the park had been neglected and underfunded. This desperate situation inspired a group of enthusiastic women who were fiercely dedicated to preserving the park’s historical value and natural beauty. The Women’s Committee was established as a result of their decision to take action.

The committee’s major objective was always to raise money and publicity for the development, upkeep, and repair of Central Park. They have contributed significantly to the park’s revitalization over the years by focusing on repair and beautification projects that have given its landscapes, monuments, and buildings new life.

The Women’s Committee, which boasts a sizable membership of 1,000 passionate and dedicated people, has been instrumental in providing Central Park with essential assistance. Beyond simply providing spiritual support, their hard efforts have helped this renowned urban sanctuary raise vital finances that are used to run its daily operations.

One of their most famous projects was the renovation of well-known sites like the Bethesda Terrace, a cherished gathering place inside the park and a masterpiece of architecture. The Terrace is a tribute to the committee’s commitment to maintaining the park’s historical and architectural assets, with its magnificent Minton tiles, complex carvings, and breathtaking views of the Lake.

Another advantage of the Women’s Committee’s commitment to restoring the park’s beauty is the Conservatory Garden, a beautifully planted haven within Central Park. The Conservatory Garden is a tribute to its dedication to creating areas of timeless beauty and natural grandeur with its bright flower displays, peaceful fountains, and immaculately kept grounds.

Additionally, the Central Park Conservancy’s Women’s Committee has been crucial in advancing educational programs, civic involvement, and advocacy for the park. To raise public knowledge of the historical and ecological importance of Central Park, they have arranged several activities and events. Their commitment to environmental preservation and education has made Central Park a popular tourist destination and a useful teaching tool for the neighborhood.

Karen May and Gillian Miniter

The Women’s Committee has been actively involved in campaigning for the park’s interests and ensuring that Central Park stays a beloved and thriving part of New York City for many generations in addition to their fundraising activities. Their influence and activism have been extremely important in gaining the funding and support required for ongoing park upkeep and enhancements.

A prime example of the beneficial effects a committed group of people may have on their neighborhood is the Women’s Committee of the Central Park Conservancy. This committee’s diligent work has greatly enhanced Central Park while retaining its natural beauty and historical value. They are dedicated to preserving Central Park as a vital and beloved part of New York City for future generations via education, community involvement, and advocacy. The Women’s Committee is a motivating example of how local conservation and restoration initiatives can be carried out across the nation.

The 843-acre backyard of New York City is Central Park, a vital area that receives more than 42 million visitors each year. The Central Park Conservancy has been given full daily responsibility for maintaining this renowned public area by the City of New York, which calls for the specialized knowledge we’ve developed during our 40-year existence. Due to heavy use, the Park requires extensive horticultural, tree, and turf care, trash management, visitor services, and other architectural upkeep, restoration, and care from over 300 Conservancy staff.

Final Thoughts

Central Park and the Central Park Conservancy serve as living examples of the positive impact that committed people and active communities may have. The Women’s Committee’s efforts to preserve and improve this famous green space are proof of what can be accomplished when one is passionate, committed, and dedicated to serving the community. Visitors to Central Park will continue to benefit from their legacy, and it will serve as motivation for future conservation and restoration initiatives. Please visit CentralParkNyc.org for additional information on the Women’s Committee or to donate.