About WSPC

The Washington Square Park Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization working with the New York City Parks Department and neighborhood groups to ensure that Washington Square Park continues as a diverse and historical urban green space through engaging volunteers and raising funds to help keep the park clean, safe and beautiful.

We’re here to support the Parks Department and work together to maintain our beautiful park for many years to come.

2016 Programs:

Programs funded by the Washington Square Park Conservancy are designed to keep the park clean, safe and beautiful. WSPC ensures that funding will be implemented at a level that is sustainable beyond each fiscal year. These programs are in the fields of:


  • Gardening Staff: The WSPC provides a dedicated full-time gardener and a seasonal gardener for Washington Square Park. Beyond planting, pruning and upkeep, this gardener assesses the park’s horticulture, plans for future seasons and designs and oversees volunteer opportunities for neighborhood gardeners.
  • Corner and Parterre Gardens: The WSPC funds design and plant costs for the decorative annual planting beds at the park’s corner entrances and the decorative beds in the center of the park. For the past three years, the Conservancy has secured the plants for these beds.

Maintenance Staff

  • The WSPC funds supplemental evening maintenance staff for Washington Square Park during the warmer months. The supplemental staff remove garbage, giving the morning staff a head-start while also preventing rodents, and clean the park’s public bathroom facilities throughout the evening hours.


  • Playground Associates: WSPC has funded a Parks Department Recreation staffer every summer since 2013 to provide general supervision and coordinated play activities at Washington Square Park during the summer. The Playground Associate provides another level of safety for the play areas at the park while also supplying such play equipment as balls and jump ropes.
  • Mini-Grants Program: The WSPC Arts Mini-Grants, first given in 2016, help financially support community organizations and local arts groups that have a history of offering free cultural programming in Washington Square Park and the surrounding area. Grants are selected by a small Committee of representatives from the Conservancy and the community.

Volunteer Programs

  • Monthly Garden Volunteers: WSPC routinely organizes dozens of neighborhood volunteers for bulb plantings and cleanup days.
  • Weekly Garden Volunteers: Begun in summer 2016, the Conservancy hosts a weekly program for experienced gardening volunteers.
  • Welcome/Tour Volunteers: Begun in summer 2016, WSPC hosts a Welcome Program on Saturdays in the Park. Volunteer docents inform visitors and neighbors about the horticulture, history, landscape design and culture behind Washington Square Park.Volunteers lead a free tour each Saturday.

The Washington Square Park Conservancy is an affiliate organization of the New York City Parks Department.

Washington Square Park Conservancy By-Laws  (PDF)

Washington Square Park Conservancy 2014 990 (PDF)

Washington Square Park Conservancy 2015 990 (PDF)

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Ely, Chairman
Veronica Bulgari, President
Justine Leguizamo, Vice President
Gwen Evans, Treasurer
John Van Name, Secretary
Kyung Choi Bordes
Marianne Engle
Douglas Evans
Emily Kies Folpe
Lauren Baker Pinkus
Jamie Welch
NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver FAICP, Parks Representative
Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro, Parks Representative
New York City Councilmember Margaret Chin, Ex Officio
Manhattan Community Board 2 Chair Tobi Bergman, Ex Officio


George Vellonakis, Executive Director
contact: george@washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org
Read George’s bio

Sheryl Woodruff, Community Development Director
contact: sheryl@washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org or call (212) 588-5659
Read Sheryl’s bio

Emily Collins, Communications Manager
contact: emily@washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org or call (212) 396-5873
Read Emily’s bio

Contact Us

PO Box 1624
Cooper Station
New York, NY 10276
contact: hello@washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org

Events and Film Shoots

These permits are issued by NYC Parks and Recreation.

For event permits, contact NYC Parks Permit Office.  Permits require a minimum of 21 days to process.
For film shoot permits, contact the NYC Parks Film Shoot Request Page. Please give 3 days’ notice for film shoots.


Facebook: Washington Square Park Conservancy
Instagram: @wspconservancy
Twitter: @WSPConservancy