FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18-87
September 13, 2018
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The Trust for Public Land and New York City Open New Student Designed Green Playground to Serve Flushing Neighborhood
New Green Infrastructure Will Capture 1.2 Million Gallons of Stormwater Annually and Improve Health of Flushing Creek
$1.2M Playground Brings 17,000 Residents Within a 10-Minute Walk of a Park
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, The Trust for Public Land New York State Director Carter Strickland, Principal Tara Mrwik and students and faculty from I.S. 250Q - The Robert F. Kennedy Community School to cut the ribbon on the schools’ new, state-of-the-art, green playground to serve students and the surrounding community. The new $1.2 million playground will bring nearly 17,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of a park and includes a running track, turf field, basketball practice hoops, tennis courts, trees, outdoor classroom space, game tables, and new fitness equipment. Green infrastructure elements will capture 1.2 million gallons of stormwater per year, vastly improving the health of Flushing Creek.
“DEP is so proud of our partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the Department of Education, which has resulted in the creation of more than a dozen new state-of-the-art playgrounds citywide,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This reimagined schoolyard now provides a fun and safe place for NYC school students and the Flushing community, while also helping to improve the ecological health of Flushing Creek.”
Green infrastructure design elements, made possible in part through a partnership with DEP, are a hallmark of The Trust for Public Land’s playground work. These features reduce stormwater runoff that can flood streets and overwhelm sewer systems, allowing untreated water to end up in rivers and bays. Each playground absorbs hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually and includes new trees that bring shade and better air quality to their neighborhoods. Similar playgrounds are also being designed in the Bronx River and East River watersheds.
“The opening of the Flushing Campus Community Playground is a milestone event for the residents of Flushing because the neighborhood now has access to a new state-of the art playground filled with amenities that will encourage area families to have fun and be physically active,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The playground was designed by students and other members of the community to meet the neighborhood’s needs and contains a number of green infrastructure elements that will help protect the environment. It was a great pleasure to work with Councilmember Lancman, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the New York City Department of Education, the School Construction Authority and the Trust for Public Land to make this playground a reality.”
“Thanks to the collaboration between the Trust for Public Land, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the I.S. 250 community we are able to welcome a new playground and innovative green infrastructure to the neighborhood,” said Council Member Rory I. Lancman. “To know that the students contributed to a playground design that will not only be enjoyable for the community but environmentally sustainable is remarkable.”
“We’d like to thank the faculty and students at I.S. 250 for working with us to create a beautiful, new green space for the entire Flushing community to enjoy—providing 17,000 residents with a short 10-minute walk from a brand new park,” said Carter Strickland, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “Helping to transform communities for the better is a large part of what we at The Trust for Public Land do, but this work would not be possible without the tremendous support and partnership of the Queens Borough President, the City Council, and the Departments of Environmental Protection and Education.”
“This is a great day for the Parsons Complex as we celebrate the ribbon cutting ceremony for our community playground,” said I.S. 250 Principal Tara Mrwik. “May this playground bring many teaching and learning opportunities for our staff and students and provide our community with a place where families can spend quality time together and create long lasting memories.”
The new park is open to the entire community after school hours and on weekends, and includes features that can be enjoyed by all ages, from children to seniors. In addition to funding provided by DEP for green infrastructure, this playground was also made possible through funding from the Queens Borough President, New York City Council Member Rory I. Lancman, and supporters of The Trust for Public Land.
The opening of this playground is part of the Trust for Public Land’s Playgrounds Program, which serves to create vibrant, educational and fun playgrounds for New York City’s schoolchildren. All Trust for Public Land playgrounds include student participation in the design process, providing them with hands-on learning of the science, technology, engineering, architecture, and math that goes into physical aspects of designing playgrounds, and also the survey, consensus-building, and budgetary steps that go into the social aspects of deciding what will be included in their school’s playground.
Since 1996, working with the City, The Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program has designed and/or built 196 school and community playgrounds across the five boroughs. In addition to serving students, all playgrounds in New York City are open to the public on weekends, after school and during school vacations, providing opportunities for both children and adults to be physically active. The program has added more than 150 acres of additional playground space, serving over 3.9 million people who live within a 10-minute walk of one of the sites.
About New York City DEP
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $19.1 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.