Playgrounds

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This story was originally published on Medium

As President and CEO of The Trust for Public Land, my work days are long and meetings and emails are many. But this...

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America’s schoolyards are packed with potential. In a few places, schoolyards are vibrant community hubs, open to the public after school hours and designed to meet the needs of neighbors as well as students. But in too many communities, schoolyards look more like parking lots than playgrounds, and their gates lock as soon as students head home for the day.

Cooper's Poynt Family School

Cooper’s Poynt Family School is a public elementary school that serves families in a predominantly low-income neighborhood in North Camden. Once a cracked asphalt lot with two basketball hoops, The Trust for Public Land worked with the school community to reinvent the barren schoolyard. Now it’s a bold play space, with colorful new equipment and porous pavement.

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America has a park problem. Nature is essential for healthy, happy communities, but today, 100 million people in this country—a third of us!—don’t have a park within a 10-minute walk of home.

The Trust for Public Land is focused on fixing this problem. That’s...

In the news

In the summer of 2016, as the Fishtown Recreation Center was down to its final swing and the jungle gym was rusted and broken, the Trust for Public Land called a community meeting at the playground.

Image of a water color rendering of Charlotte's Blueberry Park Playground

More than 3,600 residents live within a 10 Minute Walk of Charlotte’s Blueberry Park. For years, a local stewardship group, Charlotte’s Blueberry Park Action Group, advocated for park improvements. In 2017, The Trust for Public Land connected with the Action Group and helped neighbors identify a new playground as a community priority. More than 250 community members provided input on the design for the new playground.

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The veteran of more than 20 long-distance wilderness hikes, Liz Thomas knows how to navigate the most remote, wild places on earth. She set the record for the fastest female thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, and she’s gone on to make a living as a trail expert, conservation advocate, and...

East River Park is the Lower East Side and East Village's largest open space at 57 acres and more than a mile of waterfront. It hosts an array of activities, including baseball, soccer, tennis, playgrounds, and fitness equipment, as well as gardening and composting, and educational facilities. An important link on the East River Esplanade, East River Park also acts as the first line of defense against storm surges and rising tides for residents of the Lower East Side.

Photo of children and a teacher in a class room

In fall of 2018, Boston became the second city to announce full achievement of the 10-Minute Walk Campaign—which sets a goal of putting a great park or open space within a 10-minute walk of everyone in America. In the middle of the largest park-access gap in Boston is the Chittick Elementary School in Mattapan, which includes two well-worn play sets abutting an unutilized parcel of land. Currently, the public is allowed limited use of the playground after school hours, but The Trust for Public Land is working with the city to create a new public park behind the school.

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Winter can be a grind. Dark days of dodging puddles, shoveling driveways, and misplacing mittens—it’s enough to make you want to curl up under a blanket until April.

Tempting as that sounds, we think the best way to get through winter is to meet it head on. Studies show that playing...

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