Marc Matsil Takes Helm of TPL’s New York State Office

Marc Matsil has returned to New York City as the new director of The Trust for Public Land’s New York State office, the national conservation organization announced today. Born in Brooklyn, Matsil is the former Natural Resources Group chief for the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

“Marc has accomplished an extraordinary amount for conservation in and around New York City already, and we’re thrilled to have bring his leadership back as we continue to build public school playgrounds, manage community gardens, envision new community waterfronts centered on parks, and conserve natural areas, especially along harbors and waterways,” said Will Rogers, president, The Trust for Public Land. “We also look forward to Marc’s leadership in continuing our commitment to land conservation in the Empire State. We’ve conserved more than 120,000 acres of land around the state, including more than 17,000 acres of Sterling Forest and its vital drinking water resources. And there’s more work to be done.”

For the past 5 years, Matsil has been serving as the parks department director in Juneau, Alaska, where the city is about to open Dimond Park Aquatic Center, a new $30 million facility, among the first public aquatic facilities to operate on sustainable ground source heat. For more than a decade, Matsil led the NYC Parks Department’s Natural Resources Group, directing natural land acquisitions, ecological restoration and chairing the NY/NJ Harbor Estuary Program Habitat Workgroup. Matsil also served as the Assistant Commissioner of the New Jersey State Department of Environmental Protection offices of Natural & Historic Resources, as well as nearly a decade with the National Park Service (from Gateway NRA to Alaska). He is the recipient of the Society for Ecological Restoration International’s prestigious Sperry Award, the Chevron-Times Mirror North America Conservation Prize, and U.S. EPA Environmental Quality Award.

Matsil’s leadership for TPL’s New York State office began as TPL celebrated the 50th playground it has helped create in New York City, with an event April 27 at P.S. 181 in Brooklyn. TPL’s playground development at P.S. 181 comes as part of its partnership with Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Schoolyards to Playgrounds initiative and is the 25th of 28 community parks that TPL is designing and building as part of this program. In addition, TPL has led participatory design for another 123 playgrounds that the city is building. When completed the 200 acres of new playgrounds will serve 380,000 New York City students and residents.

TPL, in partnership with the Port Authority and the New York City Parks Department, has donated additions to the City’s network of open space, including North Shore Waterfront Park, an addition to Crescent Beach Park, South Beach Wetlands, Idlewild Marsh, and most recently the Beach 88th Street acquisition along Jamaica Bay. TPL has also acquired and protected several critical lands in the upstate watershed for state and municipal agencies.

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Since it was founded in 1972, TPL has conserved nearly 3 million acres across America. TPL relies upon the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations.