In one of the first changes under Prospect Park’s new leadership, major cuts will be made to school programming at the Audubon Center and Lefferts Historic House. Sources tell PLOG that beginning in July, all programs that service visiting classes will be phased out at the two locations. Public offerings and events will not be affected. Several staff positions will be eliminated or reassigned after the changes, according to individuals who did not wish to be identified.
The plan comes from former DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd, who was appointed as Prospect Park Administrator less than four months ago. Lloyd succeeded Tupper Thomas who retired after serving in the position for three decades.
The park–which calls itself “Brooklyn’s largest classroom”–offers an extensive array of curriculum for visiting students. Costs to schools range from $195 to $850 depending on the type and number of classes. It is not known if officials explored raising fees before cancelling the courses. Agencies and departments across the city are under pressure to reduce spending as the administration says it faces reduced tax revenues and funding from the state and federal government. Both a public and private partnership, more than
one quarter one third of the park’s operating expenses are funded by the city.
The cuts come as the park has embarked on a $70 million project to build a new skating rink and restore some of the park’s original design.