Kid-Designed Playground in Bronx Expanded

Claremont Village, Bronx, NY, 5/3/04: As spring sweeps through the city, the South Bronx is getting a little greener, thanks to the expansion of Claremont Community Park at the corner of Claremont Parkway and Park Avenue. The Trust for Public Land, which created the new community open space through its City Spaces program, was joined by students from the adjacent C.E.S. 42, who worked on the park design. The park, which represents a $250,000 investment in the community, adds an outdoor classroom and an artificial turf field to a City Spaces playground built in 2001.

Claremont Community Park is the result of a unique partnership between the Trust for Public Land and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation with lead funding from the New York Life Foundation. Through the community sponsors, C.E.S. 42 and St. Paul’s Church, volunteers from the community open and close the playground daily, water the trees, and keep a close watch over the hundreds of children who will use the park every day.

“It is unacceptable that even when there are parks in a community, they are inaccessible to children because heavily trafficked roads and other obstacles make walking there unsafe or even impossible,” said Rose Harvey, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the Trust for Public Land. “All children deserve safe, accessible places where they can learn, grow, play, and just be kids.”

“The Trust for Public Land is one of New York City Parks & Recreation’s most significant non-profit partners and we are pleased to work with them to improve our city’s green spaces,” said Parks & Recreation’s First Deputy Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. “Together we are working to create clean, safe playgrounds that will be cherished by the communities that surround them. This addition to Claremont Community Park will give the children of the Bronx a great new place to play.”

TPL launched City Spaces in early 1996 to build playgrounds in New York and Newark in neighborhoods with inadequate local park space. The sites are permanent additions to the city’s parks system under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and Recreation, but local community groups sponsor the sites and share responsibility for long-term maintenance and programming. Other City Spaces playgrounds include Creston Avenue Community Playground and Ranaqua Park in the Bronx, and Sunshine Playground, Open Road Park, 6th & B, and IS 90 in Manhattan, and PS 38 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

The park is the eighth in New York City to be developed by the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation group, through its City Spaces program. The playground equipment and other amenities at Claremont Community Park were underwritten by a lead grant from the Charles Hayden Foundation, which has provided $4 million for the City Spaces program to date and has pledged another $2 million.

City of New York/Parks & Recreation assures that over 28,000 acres of parks, beaches, playgrounds, stadiums, marinas, recreation facilities, gardens, malls, squares and public spaces of the City of New York are clean, safe, and attractive for the health and enjoyment of the people. Parks cares for street trees, park flowers, community gardens, historic houses, statues and monuments and open space, while providing conservation and nature study.

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. TPL has been active in New York City since 1978, and has helped gain permanent protection for over 300 acres of scarce city land. Through TPL’s City Spaces program, 13 new community parks have been created in Newark and New York City and another six are in the works. The Trust for Public Land depends on the support and generosity of individuals, foundations, and businesses to achieve our land for people mission. For more information visit us on the web at