Community Column: Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

Sally Minard
Sally Minard, President/CEO
FFP Conservancy

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly four years since Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park opened its gates in October 2012. Since then, more than 580,000 people from around the world have visited. Four Freedoms Park Conservancy, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization incorporated in June 2011, is responsible for this New York State Park under a Cooperative Agreement with the New York State Parks Department.

The Conservancy’s mission is to operate and maintain this public space and honor the life and legacy of President Roosevelt through a full schedule of educational initiatives and public programming. We have launched the award-winning educational website FDR4Freedoms.org, commissioned artist Victo Ngai to create a series of images that evoke the Four Freedoms, hosted a variety of dynamic music and dance performances, created an annual photo contest, and hosted a naturalization ceremony in honor of Veteran’s Day. A presidential candidate announced her candidacy here, and the Park is featured in Google Map’s Street View program. We have hosted sunset celebrations, yoga, and much more. Throughout, we have been thrilled to be a part of the Roosevelt Island community!

We invite everyone to join us for our second annual Kite Flight for Peace on Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25. Kites are symbols of peace across many different cultures. Every year on September 21, people around the world celebrate the United Nations International Day of Peace, a chance to come together and uphold the ideals of peace and unity. In honor of this day, Four Freedoms Park will host two free kite-making workshops from 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. on both days and a kite-flying demonstration from 12:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Park visitors of all ages are invited to design their own kites using colors, stripes, shapes, and symbols to represent their personal ideas of peace and freedom, and then fly their creations in view of the United Nations General Assembly. Last year’s kite-making event was a huge success! Nearly 800 kites were flown on the lawn (and yes, our rangers are very helpful in pulling them out of trees if that’s the way the wind blows!). We hope you will join us at this event.

On Sunday, October 16, Four Freedoms Park is partnering with Cornell Tech for a joint architectural tour as part of Open House New York’s celebration of architecture and design in NYC. The hard-hat tour will lead participants through the new Cornell Tech campus and south to Four Freedoms Park as visitors discover the changing architectural landscape. Visitors will have the chance to learn more about the tallest energy-saving passive building in the world, the campus, and Louis Kahn’s Four Freedoms Park. The Conservancy and Cornell Tech will conduct tours at 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Participation is limited to 25 people per tour. Information about this tour can be found at OHNY.org, and registration opens on the same website on October 6.

Finally, for the photographers out there, our third annual Four Freedoms Park photography contest is open until October 15. Submit your photo taken at Four Freedoms Park for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate to Adorama, a photography, video, and electronics store based in Manhattan. The winner of the contest will be announced in December. We loved seeing all of the photos submitted in our previous contests and look forward to sharing new submissions with you.

The Conservancy is responsible for raising the Park’s operating budget with both private and public support. If you support our mission and wish to become a member of Four Freedoms Park, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or pick up a membership form at the Park. Members receive special discounts on Park events and programs, including the upcoming events listed above, and play an important role in our fundraising efforts.

You can learn more about all of these programs and other news and events at FDRFourFreedomsPark.org. We welcome your comments and suggestions as we work every day to make the Park a better place for you to visit, learn, relax, and enjoy. We are open six days a week (closed Tuesdays) from 9:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. through September 30, and 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. starting October 1.

We are very happy to be a part of the Roosevelt Island community. Come visit soon, and often!

Tags: Community Column Four Freedoms Park Conservancy

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