Brooklyn Students Celebrate New Playground (NYC)
Brooklyn, NY 6/5/2007: Kindergartners through eighth-grade students at P.S. 32/M.S. 442 in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn will celebrate the opening of a new community playground that they helped design today. The students will be joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, teachers, parents, members of the community, and representatives from The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Credit Suisse, and Good Shepherd Services.
A team of students, teachers, and parents met regularly for three months to design the park. The final design includes an artificial turf field, a track, a junior basketball court, a safety surface play area, a play spray, painted games, an outdoor classroom, game tables, and trees and benches throughout the new community space. In addition to coming up with a unique playground design, students created tiles representing their interpretations of air, water, fire, and earth that were placed on planters in the playground.
“Prior to the conversion, students played on a barren one-acre asphalt lot, longing for a place where they could play during recess or after school. Today, their dream became a reality,” said Rose Harvey, senior vice president of The Trust for Public Land.
“I am thrilled that this playground and park is finally open to the children of both our school and surrounding communities. It is wonderful to see our students utilizing the equipment, field, and game tables. I couldn’t be happier with the result and truly want to thank The Trust for Public Land and our funders for making the P.S. 32/M.S. 442 play yard a reality,” said Principal Ann Marie Lettieri-Baker.
“Brooklyn has long lacked adequate open spaces for our children to play in, and thanks to the work of The Trust for Public Land, the Department of Education, and others, this playground will represent a hop, skip, and a jump toward the larger goal of increasing recreational space in our borough and improving the health of all Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The playground is a $1 million investment in the community through the City Spaces program of The Trust for Public Land, made possible by lead private funding from Credit Suisse and The Maher Family Foundation and a two-to-one funding match by the DOE. The playground is the tenth of 25 community parks being created citywide through a partnership of TPL, the DOE, the School Construction Authority, community sponsors, and private donors.
Credit Suisse had a unique approach to funding the playground. As part of its annual holiday celebration where parties are charitable in nature, hundreds of employees donated to the project and then their funds were matched by the Credit Suisse Americas Foundation.
“Our colleagues are central to the philanthropy efforts of Credit Suisse,” said Eric Eckholdt, the foundation’s executive director. “It is because of their generosity that we are able to help make this playground possible for the students of P.S. 32/M.S. 442. From the expertise of the TPL to the match funding support of the Department of Education, and to the opportunity to deepen our relationship with our great partner, Good Shepherd Services, we are pleased to lend support to this compelling project.”
“We are thrilled to have helped make this playground possible. It is a safe, green outdoor space for kids that is fun and full of creativity,” said Beth Maher, representing The Maher Family Foundation.
Good Shepherd Services is TPL’s partner and community sponsor. The social service and youth development organization runs an after school program at P.S. 32/M.S. 442 and will use the new playground extensively after school and during the summer.
“All of us at Good Shepherd Services are thrilled to be partners and collaborators in the creation of this wonderful playground which will provide our children with many new opportunities,” said Sr. Paulette LoManaco, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services. P.S. 32/M.S. 442 is the second of three schools for which Good Shepherd Services has acted as community sponsor.
The City Spaces program targets New York City neighborhoods least served by the current park system. For each $1 million playground, funding is raised by TPL from private donors, foundations, and corporations, and is matched two-to one by the DOE. One more playground will be dedicated on June 20, 2007. All 25 sites will be completed by 2010.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) 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. For more information, visit www.tpl.org/nyc.
As one of the world’s leading banks, Credit Suisse provides its clients with investment banking, private banking and asset management services worldwide. Credit Suisse offers advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high-net-worth private clients globally, as well as retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is active in over 50 countries and employs approximately 45,000 people. Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group, is a leading global financial services company headquartered in Zurich. Credit Suisse Group’s registered shares (CSGN) are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.