New Playground Opens in Brooklyn, NY

Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, NY, 12/9/2003: Area students and community residents gathered today in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn to celebrate the dedication of the P.S. 38 Playground. The playground was created through the nonprofit Trust for Public Land’s City Spaces program. The program is a groundbreaking public-private partnership dedicated to providing permanent, community-managed recreation spaces. Also joining the celebration were the project’s partners from P.S. 38 The Pacific School, the P.S. 38 Parent-Teacher Association, the Trust for Public Land, the New York Life Foundation, and the Charles Hayden Foundation.

The site, formerly an empty lot, has been transformed into a community play space that includes playground equipment, a platform whirl, a full-court basketball court, baseball diamond, artificial turf playing field, water fountain, shade trees, and benches for comfortable seating. The funds needed to build the $500,000 park were raised by the Trust for Public Land with lead support by the New York Life Foundation and the Charles Hayden Foundation.

The design for the playground came from junior architects—kindergarten to fifth grade students from P.S. 38—who took on tasks ranging from surveying the site and interviewing community stakeholders, to working with professional architects.

“This playground is the realization of a dream. P.S. 38 students and members of this community have transformed this lot into a vibrant park with the commitment and partnership of agencies, nonprofit organizations and generous individual and foundation donors, including the New York Life Foundation and the Charles Hayden Foundation,” said Rose Harvey, senior vice president and mid-Atlantic regional director for the Trust for Public Land.

Students, parents, staff, and community members came together to design the new playground. “We all worked really hard to transform an empty lot into a playground that adds a lot to the school and the community,” said Mary-Powel Thomas, president of the P.S.38 Parent-Teacher Association. “The children will have so many options that they never had before—from playing soccer on the new turf field to climbing on playground equipment to playing chess under trees.”

“We are all so excited about our new playground which was designed by staff, students, parents, and community members. The entire design process, generously funded by the Trust for Public Land, the New York Life Foundation, and the Charles Hayden Foundation, has enabled P.S. 38 to strengthen its bonds with the local neighboring community,” said Beverly Stern, P.S. 38 principal. “It has been so thrilling watching the smiling faces of our children as each stage of construction is completed.”

“We are delighted to support such a dynamic, creative project that has actively engaged children, families and community leaders,” said Sy Sternberg, chairman and chief executive officer of New York Life and chairman of the New York Life Foundation. “We congratulate the students and local residents who have worked tirelessly to build this vital playground.”

“Children need and deserve safe, accessible places to play. We are pleased that this new playground offers such a fun space for the children and this community that have worked so hard to create it,” said Sonni Holland of the Charles Hayden Foundation.

Established in 1979 by New York Life Insurance Company, the New York Life Foundation ( is the major vehicle through which the company channels contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. Through its Nurturing the Children effort, the Foundation supports organizations, programs and services that target young people, particularly in the areas of mentoring, safe places to learn and grow, and educational enhancement opportunities. Through Volunteers for LIFE, its national community involvement initiative, New York Life also encourages volunteer participation by its employees, agents and retirees.

The Charles Hayden Foundation seeks to promote the mental, moral and physical development of children and youth ages three to eighteen in the New York and Boston metropolitan areas. The foundation focus is on those institutions and programs serving youth most at risk of not reaching their full potential, especially youth in low-income communities.

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. Through the City Spaces program, 12 new community parks have been created in Newark and New York City and another seven 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.