New Yorkers Are Passionate about Local Parks, But Priorities Shift as They Age and Have Children

New survey from TD Bank explores New Yorkers’ attitudes toward the environment and opinions about local green spaces
Jun 11, 2015 5:00 PM ET

NEW YORK, June 11, 2015 /3BL Media/ - TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, today released findings from its first Rooted In NYC Survey showing that 95 percent of city residents agree that forests and other natural areas are important to the health of their community, and 90 percent feel it’s important to them personally to see action taken on creating parks and shared green spaces within cities.

However, more than half (56 percent) don’t know who is actually creating these spaces in their communities. A total of 498 New Yorkers were interviewed for the survey, which explores New Yorkers’ attitudes toward the environment and opinions about local parks and green spaces across the five boroughs. The survey was conducted as part of "TD Forests: Rooted In NYC," a program spotlighting New Yorkers who are improving their urban environment and their communities.

“Our survey found that New Yorkers value parks and green spaces, but aren’t aware of the individuals and organizations that are working hard to create and protect them” said Joe Doolan, Head of Environmental Affairs at TD Bank. “With Rooted In NYC we’re trying to change that by highlighting the things New Yorkers are doing to strengthen their local communities and create a greener New York City – this is a chance for them to share their stories with a broader audience.”

New Yorkers’ Green Space Usage
According to the Rooted In NYC Survey, 44 percent of New Yorkers visit a local park or shared green space at least once a week. This percentage jumps to 53 percent among parents of children under 18 years old and drops to 38 percent among boomers (ages 55 and older). Additionally, almost two in five New Yorkers (39 percent) said that there are not enough parks and shared green spaces in their neighborhood.

Ninety-three percent of New Yorkers believe that forests and other natural areas are great places to escape from the city, and 76 percent say they live within a 15 minute or less walk to a local park or shared green space. A higher percentage (59 percent) of boomers live less than a  10 minute walk from a local park or shared green space, compared with 52 percent of gen-Xers (ages 35-54) and 46 percent of millennials (ages 18-34).

When it comes to what would encourage them to visit their local park or shared green space more often, 85 percent of New Yorkers cited more trees and shaded areas and 88 percent cited having trails or places to walk safely.

Age and Children Shift Environmental Priorities
When asked about the most important environmental issues facing their communities, boomers in New York expressed more concern about climate change and global warming than their younger counterparts. Thirty-six percent of boomers cited climate change as their top issue, compared with 26 percent of gen-Xers and 22 percent of millennials. Parents with children younger than 18 years old were significantly more likely to cite creating more parks and green spaces as one of their top environmental priorities; 25 percent ranked it as a top concern, compared with 16 percent of New Yorkers overall.  

The survey also found that compared with all New Yorkers, boomers focus on the legacy that green spaces leave for other New Yorkers, while parents of young children place more emphasis on staying fit and being active outdoors as their families grow. Sixty-nine percent of those 55 and older agreed strongly that forests and natural areas are "an important legacy for children and future generations," compared with 54 percent of millennials. Gen-Xers were more in line with boomers at 65 percent. Additionally, 64 percent of parents with children younger than 18 agree strongly that forests and natural areas are important to [their] overall health and well-being and 52 percent of parents agree strongly that forests and natural areas are important in helping [them] to stay fit, significantly higher than the attitudes of all New Yorkers (39 percent).

“We know our customers care deeply about the environment, so we conducted this research to develop a broader understanding of New Yorkers’ environmental attitudes and preferences," said Chris Giamo, Regional President, Metro New York, TD Bank. "What we learned is that New Yorkers are active in our local communities in unique and meaningful ways, and it’s key that we recognize, support and expand environmental programs for a healthier, greener city.”

To learn more about "TD Forests: Rooted In NYC," visit


Survey Methodology
TD commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online survey of Americans and Canadians aged 18 and over about environmental issues. As part of this research, a total of 498 interviews were completed with New York City residents. Responses were collected between March 6 and 31, 2015. Results from a survey of this size are considered accurate to within plus or minus 4.4%, at the 95% confidence level, or 19 times out of 20.

About Environics Research Group
Environics Research Group Ltd. ( is one of North America’s leading agencies offering data-based advice in support of clients’ strategic, communications, policy, reputational and issues management challenges. Established in 1970, the firm offers a broad range of research and consulting services to businesses and governments. Environics is headquartered in Toronto, with offices and affiliates in Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary, and Washington D.C.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit Find TD Bank on Facebook at and on Twitter at

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit


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