New Playground for Bronx Public School, West Farms Community

April 29, 2010

Today P.S. 47 students celebrated a new community playground they helped design in West Farms, Bronx. The new playground, created in partnership with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative, will be available to the school's 1100 students and families from the surrounding community.

Previously a mostly vacant schoolyard, the lot at P.S. 47 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 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. 47 is located at 1794 East 172nd Street and situated between the Cross Bronx Expressway and the elevated 6 train. P.S. 47 has a diverse student body of more than 1100 kindergarten-through-fifth grade students. TPL led a three-month participatory design process with students, community members, and staff from Rainbow Youth & Family Service, Inc. and Boy Scouts of America to design the new playground to better serve the needs of the children and the community.

TPL contracted with Mark K. Morrison Landscape Architecture to develop the final design. The playground features an artificial turf field, a basketball court, play equipment, a garden, an outdoor classroom, trees, benches, game tables, running track, and a drinking fountain. A mural completed last summer depicts canoeing bears, representing the neighborhood's natural landscape before it was urbanized centuries ago.

"This playground is a dream come true. It will make a positive difference in the lives of children and grown-ups in the P.S. 47 community. We are all so grateful," said Principal Guarnieri.

The playground at P.S. 47 was created in partnership with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative and is the seventeenth of 28 community parks that TPL is designing and building as part of this program. When complete the parks will serve 380,000 New York City students and residents.

The playground was funded in part by TPL's New York Advisory Board in recognition of Rose H. Harvey. Rose Harvey is a former Senior Vice President and Urban Director for The Trust for Public Land who helped develop TPL's New York City Playgrounds Program. She is now a McCluskey Fellow with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

The Trust for Public Land has created 42 community playgrounds throughout New York City. In partnership with the city's PlaNYC initiative, TPL is working to transform 151 schoolyards into playgrounds by 2010. 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.