Sussex Avenue Renew School

Sussex Avenue Renew School Playground, Newark
Photo credit: 
Courtesy of Sussex Avenue Renew School Playground

Newark's central and west wards have few parks or green spaces. To help change that, The Trust for Public Land joined with Congregation Ahavas Sholom, Newark's oldest operating synagogue, to transform Sussex Avenue Renew School's asphalt schoolyard into a safe and vibrant play space. The partnership reflects the synagogue's focus on tikkun olam (repairing the world) and tzedakah (social justice).

The playground now features play equipment for students of all ages, a basketball court, a running track, and an outdoor classroom. The new design also incorporates green infrastructure elements-including gardens, porous play areas, and a turf field-to help manage stormwater and prevent flooding.

Support for this project came from the Charles Emil Thenen Foundation, CTW Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Gibson Family Foundation, Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, Helen & William Mazer Foundation, Hyde & Watson Foundation, John & Margaret Post Foundation, Landsberger Foundation, Prudential Foundation, Provident Bank Foundation, PSEG, Snowflake Youth Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, and other private and public funding.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.