Director of Strategic Partnerships Friends of Hudson River Park
"EACH DAY HERE IS DIFFERENT"
Fast fact: Tweet him @Mark_Cheever
Mark Cheever has always had a strong passion for the environment and the outdoors. He spent a few years “island hopping” as a diving instructor in the Caribbean before being hired as an Environmental Educator at Hudson River Park in 2011. He credits a lot of the success he has experienced to the amazing staff he works with. Mark has a strong love for the volunteer program at The Park, and is in awe of how much he has seen it affect the volunteers that it attracts.
NYN: DESCRIBE AN ACCOMPLISHMENT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
MC: Our volunteer program overall here at The Park has been incredible. We didn’t have an official program until about three years ago. We knew it would be beneficial to The Park, but we didn’t have resources to contribute. This past year we actually got a grant to hire a full-time volunteer coordinator, so to see her and work with her and take the program to the next step is incredible. Through June we have already hit our record number for volunteers, and we’re still growing from there. I imagine that we might even double it this year, which is pretty amazing.
NYN: WHAT CHANGE WOULD MOST HELP THE INDIVIDUALS YOUR ORGANIZATION SERVES?
MC: We really only serve New Yorkers, Hudson River Park; unlike the Highline, which is a very tourist destination, we have people from all five boroughs. A lot of it is people being able to get here, so if you could invent a teleportation machine that would be great. The program has such an amazing staff that all do incredible work, and if we could hire more staff we would be able to run more programs, making a bigger impact. These programs affect tens of thousands of New York City students each year, and a lot of times give them some of the only nature programming that they are going to have.
NYN: WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU RETIRE?
MC: One day I would like to be an executive director of a community-focused nonprofit. That’s definitely up there and I think that I am well on my way. I am patient, and I’m willing to take my time, I don’t need to get there tomorrow, life will sort itself out.
NYN: WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
MC: My job is incredibly fun because each day here is different. There is a wide range of things that we do, whether it be high-end events, golf cart tours in The Park, or putting on gloves and picking up tools and volunteering alongside our partners. As a park we get to do so much, especially in my role. I just wish everyone would know that I have a great job, and I have a lot of fun being able to interact with so many different folks and doing so many different things at The Park.