Welcome to the Syracuse Parks Conservancy | Dedicated to Syracuse Parks and Green Spaces

The Guardian Award

Each December, the Syracuse Parks Conservancy Board of Trustees will announce the individual or organization that will be honored with The Guardian Award.

This annual award is given to an individual or organization that has shown exceptional commitment, vision, leadership and dedication to promoting and preserving the beauty of parks and green spaces.

Nominations for this award may be submitted to the Board of Trustees from January 1st till December 1st.

Persons or organizations submitting a nomination must complete the application and submit it either in person, by mail or email. Supporting documentation may accompany applications.

The Board of Trustees will review all applications received by December 1st of that calendar year.

A commemorative plaque will be given to the person or organization being recognized.

A general press release shall also be issued to all media outlets.

Download Award information & Nomination Form

Syracuse Parks Conservancy


Welcome to the Syracuse Parks Conservancy website. We thank you for stopping by. The Syracuse Parks Conservancy is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We are made up of a group of volunteers who serve as Trustees. We work with both public and private citizens to care for the parks and green spaces in Syracuse. Please take some time to get to know us and we hope, get involved. Neither government officials nor private citizens alone can properly care for our parks but working together, we can. Please get involved. Help make Syracuse a greener, healthier and better place to live!

Our Mission

The mission of the Syracuse Parks Conservancy is to ensure that all Syracuse parks, public lands and the habitats therein are sustainably protected, restored, enhanced and developed for the educational, recreational and wellness uses of our citizens and their guests; we will accomplish this by directing and managing these lands and facilities in a public-private partnership with the City of Syracuse.

Our History

  • The idea for the Syracuse Parks Conservancy (SPC) began in 2008 when members from various T-N-T groups and Park Associations throughout the city began discussing the need for a citizen based organization to coordinate activities in the parks, raise funds for needed projects/repairs/improvements, recruit volunteers for events and act as a liaison with city government.
  • Throughout 2008-09, concerned citizens continued to meet both formally and informally to develop a “blueprint’ for the organization.
  • A committee was formed to draft a Constitution and begin formal dialogues with the City of Syracuse. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drafted. Representatives and lawyers from the City and the SPC meet to finalize details.
  • Members from the SPC and Pat Driscoll, Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Youth testified before the Common Council as to the need for this organization and how it would work with and support City government.
  • The City of Syracuse Common Council passed a resolution and then Mayor Matthew J. Driscoll signed the MOU creating a formal relationship between the City of Syracuse and the SPC.
  • In September 2009, the first Annual Meeting was held. A slate of Trustees presented by the Nominating Committee (Pat Driscoll, Chris Wiles and Mike Behnke) was put forth. Trustees and officers, all of whom have an interest in Syracuse’s parks as volunteers or professionals were elected.
  • Trustees are; Michael Behnke – President, Emanuel Carter – Vice President, Alicia Segura – Secretary, George Matthews – Treasurer, Eric Persons, David Maynard, Michael Massurin, Paul Pflanz, Martin/Gloria Sage, Ed Thather, Carol Simson, Clark Burdick, and Christopher Wiles.
  • Ex-officio Trustees are; Patrick Driscoll – Commissioner: Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth, John Walsh – Deputy Commissioner: Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth, Pat Hogan – Syracuse Common Council and Tom Seal – Syracuse Common Council.
  • The Board of Trustees meets every fourth Thursday and our Committees meet as needed.
  • Established Committees: Environment & Ecology; Planning, Design & Preservation; Events & Tourism; Finance & Administration; Fundraising & Development; External Affairs; Volunteers; Historical, and Nominating.

You Can Help Make a Difference

There are several great opportunities for you to help the Conservancy improve and expand Syracuse parks and green spaces. Become a financial sponsor or get involved hands on by becoming a volunteer.