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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.
The Randall’s Island Park Alliance was founded in 1992 as a public-private partnership to work on behalf of Randall’s Island Park, located in the East River, separated from Manhattan by the river’s main channel. Between the Island and the Bronx flows the Bronx Kill, while the famous rapids of Hell’s Gate separate the Park from Astoria, Queens. The Island was once two separate land masses, Randall’s Island and Wards Island, which for hundreds for years were used not as a public park but as a location for a range of public facilities including a boys’ home, a hospital, and a home for Civil War veterans. Today, Randall’s Island Park is New York’s premier recreational destination.
RIPA maintains, sustains, and programs the Park under two primary guiding principles: we provide opportunities for people to be active and experience the outdoors; and we believe that world class facilities should be available to everyone, regardless of their means.
In addition to sporting facilities, the Island is also home to a sprawling event site that, along with Icahn Stadium, hosts a number of special events every year. Located between Icahn Stadium and the Harlem River, the event site has hosted notable concerts, art fairs, and cultural festivals, including the Governor’s Ball, the Electric Zoo Festival, and the Frieze Art Fair.
RIPA has focused not only on developing the Park’s 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 wetland; today, the sites improve water quality as well as provide precious wildlife habitat. The Park also features a 3,000-square-foot Urban Farm, created in conjunction with GrowNYC, which serves as a space for environmental and nutritional education for schools and groups. This Urban Farm grows a wide variety of produce in over 20 vegetable beds made solely from recycled and composted materials.
Randall’s Island Park attracts 1.7 million visitors to the Island per year, many of whom are local children who participate in our free youth programming. In conjunction with the Department of Education, the Public Schools Athletic League, and the CHAMPS program, we offer year-round daytime and afterschool youth athletic programs in tennis, soccer, golf, dance and rugby. During the summer, our free six-week summer camp program serves over 1,500 children from 25 community-based organizations from neighboring Harlem and the Bronx. In addition, each year our Waterfront Stewardship programming provides opportunities for over 2,500 NYC public school students to visit, study, and volunteer.
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