Ten Year Stories: 78th Street Play Street

ioby was founded in 2008 in order to make it easier for local leaders to gain the funding, knowledge, and resources needed to make positive change on a local level. For the past ten years we’ve worked alongside more than 2,000 passionate, committed community leaders and have watched as small projects have turned into larger initiatives and collaborations have become movements.

We’re taking a look back at the past ten years to tell some of our favorite stories of positive neighborhood change. We want to know: what kind of things can start with a conversation, a neighborhood meeting, a few dollars raised?

For the last story in this series, we checked in with Donovan Finn and the Jackson Heights Green Alliance who have been fighting for more public green spaces in Queens, in one of the densest communities in the country. With ioby, the group crowdfunded the unrestricted money they needed to host events that invited people out to what started as a play street, and has since evolved into a city-supported park expansion. Read more about Donovan and the 78th Street Play Street.

Jackson Heights 78th Street Playstreet

We showed that there was a need and a desire to have this additional space by facilitating activity that may not have necessarily happened there without those efforts. That was what the ioby money really was critical for; proving to people who might have looked at it and said ‘this is just a closed piece of street, you have a park right here, what more do you want?’ It added a lot of value, that I think was really important to helping our city council member later argue for more funding and various other things.

Donovan Finn, Jackson Heights Green Alliance