Friends of the High Line is the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation’s non-profit partner working to ensure the park on the High Line is maintained as a great public place for all New Yorkers and visitors to enjoy. In addition to overseeing the maintenance, operations, and public programming for the High Line, Friends of the High Line is currently working to raise the essential private funding to help complete the High Line's construction and create an endowment for its future operations.
Friends of the High Line was founded in 1999 by two neighborhood residents, Joshua David and Robert Hammond. The 501(c)(3) non-profit advocated for the High Line's preservation when the structure was under threat of demolition. Friends of the High Line successfully worked with the mayoral administration of Michael Bloomberg and the New York City Council to reverse a City policy favoring demolition to one ensuring the High Line's preservation through the federal Railbanking program. Friends of the High Line also spearheaded the design process for the High Line's transformation to a public park, partnering with the City of New York on an international design competition that eventually selected the team of James Corner Field Operations (landscape architecture) and Diller Scofidio + Renfro (architecture). The first section of the High Line opened to the public in June 2009, the second section opened in June 2011 and the third section opened in September 2014.
Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s annual budget. Owned by the City of New York, the High Line is a public park maintained, operated, and programmed by Friends of the High Line, in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.