Stonyfield Organic announced that its StonyFIELDS program, which started with a small park in South Portland, Maine, is continuing its expansion in the largest city in the country: New York City. In collaboration with Osborne Organics, Eco-Friendly Parks For All Coalition (Beyond Pesticides, The Black Institute, Grassroots Environmental Education, Children’s Environmental Health Center at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Voters for Animal Rights), Stop & Shop, and NYC Parks and Recreation, Stonyfield Organic is helping transition eight parks across all five boroughs to organically maintained grounds. The process, which began in 2022, will be completed in the fall of 2025.

“Many people recognize the benefits of organic food but aren’t aware of the potential dangers of spending time on fields that are sprayed with pesticides and other toxic chemicals,” said Gary Hirshberg, Co-Founder and Chief Organic Optimist, Stonyfield Organic. “Every neighborhood deserves a beautiful, healthy, organic park, and with our coalition, we’re excited about the progress we’re making in New York City to ensure all communities have this crucial access.”

“We are proud of the significant reduction in pesticide use at Parks, and our collaboration on this pilot with Eco-friendly Parks for All and Stonyfield will further demonstrate what can be achieved through our continued and expanded use of sustainable landscaping practices," said NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner for Environment and Planning Jennifer Greenfeld.

The work to transition to organic land management in NYC parks grows out of a collaboration with Beyond Pesticides, Osborne Organics, and Eco-Friendly Parks for All, which began with the adoption of Intro Bill 1524 on Earth Day 2022. The work has now progressed to hands-on implementation with the NYC Parks and Recreation Department. The transition starts with the evaluation of soil biology at each of the parks, the development of a plan for soil health, organic fertilization, the adoption of organic-compatible management systems, and training of park workers. Stonyfield is paying $60,000 to Beyond Pesticides to underwrite this work, specifically at the NYC parks.

“This initiative is a collaboration with the national organic yogurt maker Stonyfield, the NYC Parks Department, and a coalition of local organization to eliminate petrochemical pesticides and fertilizers in an effort to protect the health of children, landscapers, and the community, enhance biodiversity (e.g., protect pollinators) in the parks, and mitigate the climate crisis,” said Jay Feldman, Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides.

The New York City parks that are currently undergoing the transition to organic grounds maintenance are below:

  • Morningside Park (Morningside Dr, New York, N.Y. 10026) – Manhattan
  • Canarsie Park (9006 Seaview Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11236) – Brooklyn
  • Lincoln Terrace (E New York Ave, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11213) - Brooklyn
  • Rufus King Park (150-29 Jamaica Ave, Queens, N.Y. 11435) - Queens
  • Rev. Dr. Maggie Howard Playground (Tompkins Ave &, Broad St, Staten Island, N.Y. 10304) – Staten Island
  • Mahoney Park (87 Crescent Ave, Staten Island, N.Y. 10301) – Staten Island
  • Claremont Park (Clay Ave &, 8016, E 170th St, The Bronx, N.Y. 10457) – Bronx
  • Jacobo Field at Mapes Playground (Prospect Ave &, E 180th St, The Bronx, N.Y. 10460) - Bronx

Photo courtesy of Stonyfield Organic.