After she was promoted to sergeant, supervising the only ropes course in the parks system, she worked at accounts payable for a short time.
“I realized that I wanted to be out in the field,” Bossio said. “I saw a position with Partnerships for Parks, and I applied.”
A public-private partnership between the City Parks Foundation and NYC Parks, Partnerships for Parks supports neighborhood volunteers who advocate for their local green spaces. Bossio’s role as senior outreach coordinator in Brooklyn involves organizing projects, advancing advocacy efforts and offering resources.
She helps volunteers paint benches, garden, run programs and navigate other aspects of New York City parks.
“Volunteering in parks is important to me because these parks are our backyards,” Bossio said. “The community members are so passionate about making a difference in their neighborhood, and that empowers me to help them become successful groups.”
While the city’s larger parks have advocacy and “friends” groups to care for the green spaces, Bossio said many smaller, lesser-known parks do not have those groups. She would also want to see more outreach coordinators to build more of these friends groups.
“All our parks need a 'friends' group,” Bossio said. “Friends groups make neighborhoods thrive, and also bring the community together. Parks are a place for social gathering.”
If people are interested in volunteering or learning about opportunities, Bossio said the first step is to reach out to an outreach coordinator like her. The Parks Department has outreach coordinators throughout the five boroughs.
“It only take one person to make a difference to activate the park space,” Bossio said.