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The History of
Friends of Westchester
County Parks


Since the inception of the County Parks Commission in the early 1920s, Westchester County has been a national leader in the acquisition and preservation of parkland. This trend continues at the beginning of the 21st century.
The Westchester County Parks Department manages more than 50 parks and recreation properties, spanning more than 18,000 acres – a tribute to those people of vision who started a movement that created one of the finest park systems in the country. In 2003, the department was accredited by the National Recreation and Parks Association, and was the first county agency in New York and one of only 47 agencies in the country to earn that distinction.
The Parks Department’s success didn’t come without help along the way. In 1977, at a time when the demand for quality parks and recreation program was growing and budget dollars were shrinking, The Friends of Westchester County Parks, a 501(c)3 non-profit philanthropic organization, was established. Over the past 25 years, the Friends has established a tradition of helping to bridge the budget gap, raising thousands of dollars to buy equipment, fund children’s programs, provide amenities and support the Westchester County Parks System.
Today, the Friends of Westchester County Parks, Inc. has renewed its pledge to support, maintain and enhance Westchester’s Parks, promote their value to the economic, social and aesthetic vitality of our community, and stimulate public participation, interest and support in their preservation.