The Prospect Park Zoo [PPZ/NYCS-WCS] is part of a mid-1800’s Public-Private Partnership [PPP, see PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP] that led to the creation of New York City’s Park Education Campus [PEC, see PARK INSTITUTIONS.] The PPP/PEC currently consists of 17 museums, zoos, botanical gardens, performing arts and science centers and an aquarium.

These institutions are on City-owned park land and operate in City-owned buildings across the five boroughs. And because of New Yorkers’ generosity and our integrity in keeping our part of the PPP deal, PEC institutions currently receive direct and indirect New York taxpayer subsidies approximating $1 BILLION annually [see PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPPARK INSTITUTIONSFINANCIAL ANALYSIS and LAWS.]

Yet many, if not all, of the PEC institutions do not comply with controlling New York State [NYS] and local laws as well as conforming contracts. In fact, every PEC institution has a contravening agreement with the City, meaning every PEC institution has been amended to [1] be in violation of provisions of NYS Laws regarding New Yorkers’ rights or to [2] diminish New Yorkers’ rights provided for in prior Lease or License Agreements, despite New Yorkers’ $1 BILLION annual subsidies [see E. 9 in LIST OF REFERENCES – PPZ/NYZS-WCS below and FINANCIAL ANALYSIS.]

Five of the 17 PEC institutions are owned by New York City’s Department of Parks [DPR]. In response to FA’s Freedom of Information Law [FOIL] requests, DPR and New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs [DCA], together produced copies of Agreements DPR entered with the New York Zoological Society [NYZS] to manage and operate four of DPR’s 5 facilities: namely, the Central Park Zoo [CPZ/NYZS-WCS], the Prospect Park Zoo [PPZ/NYZS-WCS], the Queens Zoo [QZ/NYZS-WCS], and the New York Aquarium [NYA]. Regarding the Bronx Zoo [BZ/NYZS-WCS], DPR produced a copy of a March 24, 1897, New York Zoological Society Resolution “Granting South Bronx Park” to NYZS.

NYZS operates these facilities under the “assumed name ”Wildlife Conservation Society” [WCS]. DCA manages and operates the BZ/NYZS-WCS and the NYA. NYZS-WCS manages and operates CPZ/NYZS-WCS, PPZ/NYZS-WCS and QC/NYCS-WCS. State and local laws authorized DPR to enter Agreements with NYZS — not WCS for the management and operation of its facilities.

The Agreements have provisions breaching New York State laws and deny New Yorkers our “free” rights [see HISTORY OF NYZS-WCS].

As further evidence that New York City leaders do not act to enforce New Yorkers’ rights attributable to the PPP venture, consider “examples” cited in PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP in addition to the fact that New York City’s Office of Corporation Counsel filed an  Amicus Brief in 2014 before the New York Appellate Court making it clear that litigatory challenges by individual New Yorkers against either the City or any of the PPP/PEC institutions would fail. [see LIST OF REFERENCES – PPZ/NYZS-WCS F. 14 below] Additionally, Counsel advised that a controlling 1893 New York State law providing more generous “free” access rights to New Yorkers was an annual “appropriation act that merely provided a means of public funding to promote the Museum’s operations”, and without evidence of succeeding annual appropriation acts, in effect let stand admission provisions provided in the City’s and The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s [the MMA’s] 1878 Lease Agreement after 1893 [see “MMA’s Admission Policy Breaches …” section in MMA’s PARK INSTITUTIONS page.]

The 1878 Lease prohibits Sunday openings and mandates free admission during all operating hours to professors and teachers at New York City’s schools or institutions where instruction is given free of charge. The MMA has violated those provisions since it has operated on Sundays since 1892 and since at least 1971, has required professors and teachers to pay a mandatory “you must pay something” admission fee [see “Direct and Indirect Subsidies …” and “MMA’s Admission Policy Breaches …” sections in MMA’s PARK INSTITUTIONS page.] In addition, Corporation Counsel did not report to the Court that any “maintenance of the buildings, instruments and equipment” appropriation to the MMA is limited to $95,000 annually despite the MMA receiving MILLIONS OF DOLLARS annually for decades. [see New York City Administrative Code Chapter 4 – EXPENSE BUDGET: Section 5-509, 2.d. and “Direct and Indirect Subsidies …” and “MMA’s Admission Policy Breaches …” sections in MMA’s PARK INSTITUTIONS page.]

New Yorkers are on notice that if we want our legislated rights enforced — even as the City grants, and the PPP/PEC institutions accept, our $1 BILLION, we must SIGN FA’S PETITION NOW!  

Choose not to act, and every New Yorker, now and to come, will relinquish the PPP/PEC institutions to elitism and tourism – while doling out  $1 BILLION annually.

Review the evidence supporting the information on this PPP/PEC institution’s summary sheet.


Consider FA’s comprehensive research organized by topic.

Tags: collection for all ages / culture / education / zoological