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A Farewell from Keats Myer, Executive Director

Aug 31, 2022 | Community

A Farewell from Keats Myer, Executive Director

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For nearly a decade, Keats Myer has stewarded Madison Square Park Conservancy as Executive Director, transforming the park into a world-class community resource. Join her now as she reflects back on her incredible tenure with the organization, and the accomplishments that the Conservancy achieved under her leadership:

The park is a mirror of the changes we have all been through in this past decade.

On a local scale, we saw an increase in the density of residents around the park, shifting the Conservancy’s programming from that of attracting crowds through exciting and wonderful programs to a “less is more” approach. We focused on curating programs with a much lower impact to engage the community in horticulture, art, and sustainability.

On a more national scale, we saw a growing awareness and urgency of the impacts of climate change. Ten years ago our operations and programming did not calculate our climate impact. Now the Conservancy weighs every operational decision, and much of its programming choices, through this lens.

We have become a Level II arboretum and an American Public Garden, which is a rare claim for a free public space. In fact, we may be unique in this. Year after year we achieved accolades for our art program and, spectacularly, we were selected to represent the United States at the acclaimed 2019 Venice Biennale. We raised funds for and rebuilt long-neglected monuments, walkways, and the dog run while leaving the financial condition of the park much stronger.

I say we, but now you all need to look in the mirror. These achievements are only possible because of the role all of you have played in volunteering, donating, and loving this 6.2-acre park. Truly, thank you to each and every one of you, for none of this would have happened without you.

The Conservancy’s newly appointed Executive Director, Holly Leicht, will begin Tuesday, September 6. Holly cares about green spaces in our city and will bring a new energy to this role. I look forward to the organization’s continued growth and development under her leadership.

And finally, thank you for allowing me a wonderful ride.


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