Friday, September 10, 2021

Fall IMP-act Day: Partnerships for Parks to Commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 by Planting 70,000 Daffodil Bulbs with 1000+ It’s My Park Volunteers 

Annual Fall Planting Day Doubles in Size to Commemorate the Victims of COVID-19 through the Daffodil Project 

Approximately 1000 volunteers will gather in local parks across New York City on Saturday, October 16th for Fall IMP-act Day—an annual citywide park beautification day—to begin planting nearly 70,000 daffodil bulbs in all five boroughs. In recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, many of these bulbs will be planted in remembrance of the victims of 9/11 through the Daffodil Project. Led and organized by Partnerships for Parks (PfP), a joint program of NYC Parks and City Parks Foundation, this year’s Fall IMP-act Day focuses on the borough of Manhattan—where the terrorist attack occurred—with hundreds of volunteers honoring the lives lost on that horrific day. PfP will also provide crocus bulbs to volunteers in Manhattan as part of an initiative started last year to memorialize the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founded in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center with the vision of NYC garden designer and New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P) board member Lynden Miller and NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and a gift of one million daffodil bulbs from Dutch supplier Hans van Waardenburg, the Daffodil Project has grown to be the biggest volunteer effort in NYC history. Run by NY4P, PfP has been a key partner since the first planting at DeWitt Clinton Park in 2001. That fall, over 10,000 volunteers planted almost 1.5 million bulbs to brighten the city after one of her darkest days, inspiring Mayor Bloomberg to name the daffodil the city’s official flower in 2007.

Thousands of volunteers participate in this project annually as a part of It’s My Park, PfP’s signature volunteer program, with hundreds of volunteers coming out on the third Saturday of October—once known as It’s My Park Day—to begin a season of planting bulbs, with nearly 700,000 daffodil bulbs planted over the last 20 years as part of the Daffodil Project. Each spring, New Yorkers across the city enjoy the bright yellow blooms as a symbol of rebirth and healing. The purple crocus flowers will now accompany this burst of color, recognizing the New Yorkers lost to the pandemic as well.

Notable IMP-act Day projects include Muslim Volunteers for New York at Ruppert Park on 2nd Ave, between E 90th St and E 91st St and Friends of Saint Nicholas Park at St Nicholas Park between W 128th St and W 141st St.

This Fall IMP-act Day comes at a critical time for parks and green spaces as New York City tentatively recovers from COVID-19, bracing for new variants and facing an economic crisis. Parks have been a place of refuge for New Yorkers since the pandemic began, increasing awareness about how crucial green space is to the overall health and well-being of the city.

This current climate harkens back to the early days of PfP, founded in 1995 to support community groups that had emerged to care for neighborhood parks in the wake of the fiscal crisis of the 1970s. With the aid of PfP and NYC Parks staff, these grassroots “friends groups” helped to transform once-neglected parks into thriving community spaces. Every year, It’s My Park programs engage more than 25,000 volunteers, and PfP now supports nearly 600 community groups working to sustain 400 parks across New York City.

“Even in the most trying times, New Yorkers consistently come together to create a better tomorrow,” said Sabina Saragoussi, director of Partnerships for Parks. “On IMP-act Day and throughout the fall season, community groups will beautify parks across our city, and many will remember the friends, family, and neighbors we’ve lost by planting daffodil and crocus bulbs in their honor, brightening city parks and bringing joy. We are proud to work with New Yorkers for Parks and our community partners in this effort.”

“Volunteering can be a therapeutic act, and the annual planting of daffodils has helped New Yorkers to collectively heal from the tragedy of 9/11,” said NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Margaret Nelson. “Now, 20 years later, more than 700,000 new bulbs have been planted in parks across the city. NYC Parks is so proud to once again join Partnerships for Parks and New Yorkers for Parks in hosting this significant tradition, and we thank all of the volunteers who have taken action to honor those who were lost, remind us of our strength in times of hardship, and make our city brighter.”

For a complete list of projects, please visit our website or contact 

About Partnerships for Parks: Partnerships for Parks is a unique public-private partnership between City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks that supports and champions neighborhood volunteers by giving them the tools they need to advocate and care for their neighborhood parks and green spaces. More information about Partnership for Parks is available at

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