NEW YORK — Todd Strier is one of 30 members in New York City’s Parks Mounted Auxiliary.
“It’s the best volunteer job ever. For me to get on a horse in Central Park for free and help people and give back to the city is an amazing opportunity,” said Strier.
The non-profit organization provides riding partners for mounted parks officers. Together, the foursome patrols our parks and make friends along the way. They often stop and talk with residents and visitors to the city’s parks in all five boroughs.
“What we do is we supplement our time we give them our resources and our hours and make the park safer by helping them patrol the parks,” said Strier.
New York City residents and visitors can see the Auxiliary in action at large events like parades. And when it comes time to clean the stables, they’re there as well.
Edwin Rodriguez is the Assistant Commissioner of New York City Parks and he says the volunteers are important to his department.
“It means a lot to us,” said Rodriguez. “They're very well organized, very generous, always willing to help. They play a big role in our day to day operation citywide. So they’re pretty much awesome.”
This year, the Auxiliary marks its 25th year of service to the city. To celebrate, it provided a new transport trailer for their equine friends.
“The trailers are out they get rusted. So our organization donated money and purchased a trailer for the parks department so they can use it," said Strier.
Native New Yorker Rachel Fishbein is president of the Mounted Auxiliary. She says they volunteer their time and give money for the horses and the city.
“We love horses and we love New York City," said Fishbein. "There’s nothing better than riding around on horseback and having somebody, particularly somebody from another place, come over and go 'I didn't know that there were horses and then can you tell me where the bathroom is?'”