The Prospect Park Alliance is the brains and brawn behind the scenes. The nonprofit organization was created in 1987 in order to create a public and private fund for the development and maintenance of Prospect Park. The organization’s goal is to take care of the park and raise funds for different projects.
In 2009, park employees cared for almost a thousand trees through pruning, planting, fertilizing, removal, and transplantation. Employees also engaged in vegetation and erosion control and removal of invasive plants through the Natural Resources Crew, whose main goal is the improvement of bird habitat in an area of Lookout Hill. About 20,000 trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants were planted in 2009. The Alliance is also responsible for construction and design of Prospect Park facilities. One such example is the Vanderbilt Playground, redesigned since 1990 and opened in November of 2010 .This maintenance relied heavily on public grants and donations from public figures such as Bloomberg and Markowitz.
Prospect Park relies heavily on the Tennis Center, concessions, and venue rentals for revenue to fund park programs. One of the highlights of the Tennis Center i its attraction of beginners (more specifically, 261 beginners in tennis). The Center also runs a program for the physically or mentally challenged children. Surprisingly, facility rentals play a big role in operations funding. In 2009 over $120,000 was earned from movie shoots in the park. People also choose to marry in Prospect Park, renting spaces. Additionally, the skating rink and Carousel are two of a number of attractions in the park, bringing in 6 figures of funds for park programs.
The Alliance also strives to educate members of the public about the park’s natural environments. The Audubon Center, and “BASE” were the three main means of education in 2009. The Audubon Center exposes children to the natural world by having activities in the house (such as digging of soil). It also created an after school program for K-2 grades to visit and learn about the park. The BASE program (Brooklyn Academy of Science and the Environment) is a set of classes that take a more scientific approach to the natural environments of Prospect Park.
Lakeside is the Alliance’s project which would replace the winter-only rink with facilities for recreation and fun throughout the whole year. The main goals of the Lakeside project are to restore the environment to a much greener state and rebid the are with the community in mind. The initiative is another example of how the Prospect Park facilities are constantly being changed to better fit the community and visitors. Ironically, the organization has decided that the latter goal would be best met by restoring certain parts of the area according to Olmstead’s and Vaux’s original planning.