New Playground for Bronx Public School

September 23, 2010
Press release

Today P.S. 7 students celebrated the new community playground they helped design in Kingsbridge, Bronx. The new playground, created in partnership with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative, will be available to the school's 500 students and to families from the surrounding community.

Previously a mostly vacant lot, the schoolyard at P.S. 7 has been transformed into a new $1 million community playground, led by The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and a design team of students, teachers, parents, and members of the community. The playground was funded in part by MetLife Foundation and The Starr Foundation.

"The students were yearning for a place to play during recess and the community wanted a park. Today, those dreams are a reality," said Mary Alice Lee, director of TPL's New York City Playgrounds program.

P.S. 7, located at 3201 Kingsbridge Avenue in the Bronx, has a diverse student body of more than 500 kindergarten-through-fifth grade students. TPL led a three-month participatory design process with students, community members, and staff from the Mosholu Montefiore Community Center to design the new playground to better serve the needs of the children and the community.

"I strongly believe that having a beautiful place to exercise, have fun, socialize with your peers and community is an integral part of a well rounded society that supports a healthy, as well as academic, culture," said Frank Patterson, P.S. 7 Principal. "I am particularly thrilled as a new leader to be able to begin with this wonderful gift that is not only for the students and parents, but also invites the entire community."

The playground features an artificial turf field, gazebo, running track, play equipment, outdoor classroom, vegetable and flower gardens, trees, benches, toss and score, painted maze, game tables, and drinking fountain.

The playground at P.S. 7 was created in partnership with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative and is the 22nd of 28 community parks that TPL is designing and building as part of this program. When completed the parks will serve 380,000 New York City students and residents.

The new space is one of 36 community parks and playgrounds nationwide supported by MetLife Foundation, which has contributed $4.1 million to TPL.

"Far too many urban youth lack accessible outdoor spaces for recreation, relaxation and learning," said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. "We are pleased to join the City, TPL, P.S. 7, and the Kingsbridge community in creating an important new neighborhood resource that reflects the needs and creativity of children and the community."

"The generosity of MetLife Foundation and The Starr Foundation enables hundreds of children now to have a place close to home where they can exercise both mind and muscles," said Lee.

The Trust for Public Land has created 47 community playgrounds throughout New York City. In partnership with the city's PlaNYC initiative, TPL is working to transform 151 schoolyards into playgrounds by 2011. The Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and natural areas, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL has created or enhanced more than 250 neighborhood parks in New York City, investing roughly $200 million in land purchases and in the design, construction and stewardship of parks.

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support education, health, civic, and cultural programs. In youth development, MetLife Foundation funds initiatives that promote mentoring and provide safe places and constructive activities for young people, particularly during out-of-school time. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.metlife.org.