Urban Park Leadership Program

Format: Online, On Campus

The Mall - Central Park NYC

About the Program

Designed, facilitated, and hosted by the Central Park Conservancy (CPC) Institute for Urban Parks in partnership with the CUNY School of Professional Studies Office of Professional Education and Workplace Learning (PEWL), the Urban Park Leadership Program comprises a combination of web-based professional development experiences and in-person learning covering a range of topics relevant to urban park leadership and management.

Participants engage in a series of online workshops, seminars, self-paced modules, and coaching sessions over the course of nine months, culminating in a week-long session in New York City, and a capstone project.

PEWL was created at the same time as CUNY SPS and designs custom workplace learning programs to help organizations achieve their goals. They are experts in research-based learning practices, online as well as in-classroom curriculum development and implementation. They are uniquely positioned to respond to organizational learning needs and support change management initiatives swiftly and effectively.

View a detailed schedule for the current cohort

Alumni Testimonial

Urban Park Leadership Program alumnus Heath Riddles-Sanchez provides a testimonial of his experience.

Admissions Criteria

We seek executive and senior-level leaders (e.g., Director, Vice President, Executive Director, Board Member) of:

  • Park non-profit organizations in urban areas (conservancies, trusts, alliances, corporations, friends of groups)
  • Parks and recreation agencies in urban areas
  • Affiliated public space partners of urban parks (business/park improvement districts, cultural institutions)

About our Program Partner

The Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks, founded in 2013, draws on the Conservancy's history and expertise as a leader in the field of urban park management and public-private park partnerships to empower, inform, connect, and celebrate the individuals and organizations that care for urban parks so that all urban park organizations have the knowledge, leadership, connections, and capacity to create, maintain, and support great public spaces.

Central Park Conservancy Institute for Urban Parks and CUNY School of Professional Studies logo

Student/Alumni Profiles

Julia Raskin

Urban Park Leadership Program

"I chose the program because I wanted to learn about the different aspects of working in parks, and not just the components that I am already familiar with through previous positions."

Alicia Quirós

Urban Park Leadership Program

"I´m grateful for new connections and relationships that make our community stronger and help us pursue the vision for the park."

Margot Perron

Urban Park Leadership Program

"Central Park Conservancy's expertise is unparalleled and they, along with CUNY SPS, aim to be incredibly helpful and supportive."

Heath Riddles-Sanchez

Urban Park Leadership Program

"To me, there is no more valuable learning experience than to be around others who are facing the same daily challenges as we are...and solving them!"

Recent News About Urban Park Leadership Program

Cara Lambright

July 20, 2021


Cara Lambright, a graduate of the CUNY SPS and Central Park Conservancy’s Urban Park Leadership Program, discusses her new role as CEO of the New Orleans City Park in this Q&A with MyNewOrleans.com.