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Statement on GoogaMooga Food Festival 2012 by Prospect Park Alliance E. Lloyd

"A Learning Experience" — Calls for Public Feedback

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The following is a complete copy of a letter issued by the Prospect Park Alliance on May 25, 2012, by Emily Lloyd, the head of the Prospect Park Alliance, after substantial public criticism of the "GoogaMooga" food festival, a two-day, 40,000 ticket food event held in the Nethermead section of Prospect Park.

While not exactly a call for public commentary, the bolded section below (emphasis added) suggests that public input on the question of whether to invite this festival back to Prospect Park in the future. (See address and email below)

Open Letter from Prospect Park Alliance About the "Great GoogaMooga

Dear Prospect Park Friends,

I want to thank everyone who shared their views with us regarding the Great GoogaMooga. I was glad to hear that many found much to enjoy. I also heard a variety of concerns. Prospect Park is many things to many people and large events in Prospect Park serve a number of purposes. Providing entertaining activities that large numbers of people can enjoy together and drawing in new users are both goals of the Alliance. These events also provide additional resources for the care of the Park and that benefits all Park users.

When discussions began over two years ago with Superfly, the producers of GoogaMooga, the goal was to provide a new event which would be of interest to a large number of people. As with any new venture, we knew that there would be a lot of learning-by-doing. We are pleased that it was clearly a lot of fun for a lot of people and attracted new people to Prospect Park who, we hope, will come back and get to know and love and support the Park as we all do.

We were aware that a large event could bring some potential problems as well, primarily inconvenience to regular Park users and possible damage to the Park. We worked hard with the producers to limit those impacts, and in many cases succeeded. And it was apparent before, during and after the event that there were things that we and the producers could do better to limit the impact of the production work, minimize inconvenience to Park users, and strengthen protections for the natural environment.

Finding new ways to generate resources for the care of the Park has been an important part of the Alliance's mission for 25 years. With government money for parks from all levels shrinking and many foundation grants stretched thin, we must seek new ways to raise money to keep the Park clean and maintained. The Alliance now pays over two-thirds of the cost of operating the Park day-to-day. An occasional large sponsored event, free to the public, is one of the main ways that organizations such as ours can build the capacity to care for the Park. It was one we wanted to explore.

The last two weeks have been a learning experience for us all and we will evaluate the benefits and costs over the coming weeks. We appreciate hearing your thoughts and will keep them very much in mind as we review the event.

Thank you for your continued support of Prospect Park.

Emily Lloyd

(emphasis added in bold)

Contact info:

info@prospectpark.org

Prospect Park Alliance, 95 Prospect Park West,Brooklyn, NY, 11215

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