Westchester Parks Foundation, the only organization dedicated exclusively to promoting and supporting Westchester County Parks, has elected Scarsdale resident J. Henry Neale Jr. to its board of trustees. He will serve a three-year term.
Neale has been a leader in public policy advocacy supporting progressive causes for a long time. He attended the 1973 gathering in Ardsley when representatives of environmental organizations allied by past support for effective state legislation revised the structure of a citizens’ coalition named Environmental Planning Lobby. Henry soon became an EPL director. Although the name was later revised to Environmental Advocates of New York (EANY), he remained a director. After being variously chair of almost every EPL/EANY committee, secretary, treasurer and president, he changed job titles in December 2019, becoming a director of the new EANY Action Fund.
Neale led an alliance which advocated relentlessly for nine years to obtain adoption of the Returnable Beverage Container Act (“the Bottle Bill”), a rare legislative victory by citizen advocates who defeated vigorous opposition by industry lobbyists. Gov. Mario Cuomo appointed Neale, representing the environmental constituency, a member of the state commission which studied Bottle Bill results and reported it successful. The membership of Hudson River Sloop Clearwater Inc. elected Neale a director in 2017, and he has also served as chair of the Westchester County Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Board since 2018.
Seth Mandelbaum, chairman of Westchester Parks Foundation’s board of trustees, stated: “A lifelong parks advocate, Henry’s deep knowledge about environmental issues, policies and laws, in addition to his love of Westchester County Parks, make him a great addition to the Westchester Parks Foundation Board. We look forward to working together with him as we continue to promote our county’s park system and ensure that it remains vibrant, green and integral for residents to enjoy year-round.”
Except for Amherst College, NYU Law School, uneventful U.S. Marine Corps service and two years in the New York City mayor’s office, Neale lived his entire life in Westchester County.