Description & History

Friends of the Woods (FOTW) was founded in Summer 2006 by Brandy Cochrane, a resident of the University Heights community. After a walk through University Woods, she felt an instant obligation to restore this beautiful area. Cochrane couldn't believe she didn't know about this park, having lived in the neighborhood for four years. Inspired, she decided to immediately spring into action, and created Friends of the Woods.

In October 2006, with the help of the Parks Department, FOTW arranged its first "It's My Park Day" at University Woods. Since then, FOTW has made consistent progress fulfilling its mission. At the end of 2006, Friends of the Woods was was admitted into Partnerships Academy, a competitive program that teaches park groups the importance of building meaningful relationships in order to accomplish it's mission. The experience at the Academy has proven to be invaluable to FOTW, as it prepared the organization for the the long-term highs and lows that come with running a park group.

In 2007, FOTW arranged various clean-ups at University Woods, resulting in more usage of the park. This prompted the Parks Department to place part-time staff at the park. In addition, FOTW began surveying the neighbors for ideas and building relationships with neighboring organizations.

In 2008, Friends of the Woods received its first grant from Partnerships for Parks. We also hosted the University Heights Block Party that took place on August 30 on Cedar Avenue. We were also allocated $500,000 from Bloomberg for rehabilitation of University Woods. Construction is scheduled to begin in Spring 2010.

About the organization

Friends Of The Woods

David West
Assistant Director
(718) 228-9309
Brandy Cochrane
Board President
(718) 228-9309