New Community Schoolyard Opens at the Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School in Queens
Today, Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Education, and other funders, are proud to celebrate the opening of the newly renovated green schoolyard at the Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School (I.S. 73Q) in Queens.
The schoolyard features green infrastructure that will manage nearly 1 million gallons of storm water per year, helping to reduce both neighborhood flooding as well as pollution in nearby Newtown Creek. The schoolyard will also give quality park access to over 14,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of the school.
“Parks are essential for the mental and physical well-being of New Yorkers, and this new community space is a key part of our work to close the park equity gap and increase climate resiliency,” said Mary Alice Lee, NYC Playgrounds Program Director for Trust for Public Land. “In addition to serving the entire neighborhood with quality park space, this schoolyard will give students the opportunity to learn and play outdoors, while its green infrastructure features will absorb millions of gallons of stormwater that would otherwise flood our city streets.”
I.S. 73Q The Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School Community Schoolyard was designed by students, staff, parents, and community members through Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program. This playground is made possible through a partnership with the DOE and the New York City Construction Authority, and includes trees, pervious pavers, and other green infrastructure elements that will capture more than an inch of rainwater in storm events.
”Climate change is delivering more intense storms and flooding to New York City which is why this new schoolyard is not only beautiful, it is fully functional and will absorb nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater every year,” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Thanks to our terrific partners at TPL and the smart student designers at I.S. 73Q, this schoolyard will help to reduce neighborhood flooding and reduce pollution in nearby Newtown Creek.
Funding to help make this schoolyard renovation possible came through DEP, the office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and New York City Council Member Robert Holden.
“I’m thrilled to continue our partnership with the Trust for Public Land to upgrade our schoolyards and playgrounds,” said Council Member Holden. “Schools, like IS73, serve as cornerstones in our communities, and we need to invest in them to ensure our children have access to safe and healthy environments to learn and grow.”
“This modern schoolyard is first-class, state-of-the-art recreational space that will enhance the mental and physical well-being of I.S. 73’s students and of all the residents of the Maspeth community who use it,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Its construction is part of an important effort to create new opportunities for outdoor recreation that are also friendly to the environment. I’m honored to have allocated $500,000 toward this project and to have worked with the City Council, the Trust for Public Land, the NYC Department of Education and the School Construction Authority to make it a reality.”
Opening all the nation’s public schoolyards during non-school hours would put a park within a 10-minute walk of nearly 20 million people—solving the problem of outdoor access for one-fifth of the 100 million people across the country who don’t currently have a park close to home.
TPL’s goal for every schoolyard is to turn blacktop “playgrounds” into vibrant, verdant spaces that do double duty as neighborhood parks outside of school hours. These Community Schoolyards projects are improving the health, equity, and climate resilience of neighborhoods across the country and transforming the lives of students, families, teachers, and the whole community. Since 1996, TPL has helped complete 225 schoolyards across New York City, including 71 in Queens alone.
About Trust for Public Land
Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit tpl.org.