New Playground for South Bronx

New York, NY, 6/20/01: A new playground and park in the South Bronx opened this past Friday, June 15, 2001. Claremont Community Park, at the corner of Claremont Parkway and Park Avenue, will celebrate its opening with a dedication ceremony and presentations by third, fourth, and fifth grade students of public elementary school C.E.S. 42 who were involved with the playground design process. The park, which represents a $280,000 investment in the community, features playground equipment, a track and landscaping. Adjacent to C.E.S. 42, the site will be open to students as well as members of the community.

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 will 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.

“Claremont Community Park is a result of pooling public and private resources,” said Rose Harvey, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the Trust for Public Land. “By engaging in the vision and talents of the neighborhood residents and students, we were able to create a public space that not only serves but also reflects the community.”

The park is the fourth to be developed in New York City by the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation group, through its City Spaces program. To date, the New York Life Foundation has provided $650,000 for the program for this site and an additional playground in the Bronx to be dedicated this fall.

The Trust 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 in the Bronx, and Sunshine Playground and Lower East Side Park in Manhattan.

“This space has been enlivened by a park created by students who care about their community. Like many of our parks, this playground will serve as a place for active recreation, quiet reflection, and education,” said Commissioner Henry Stern of the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The playground equipment and other amenities at Claremont Community Park were underwritten by a lead grant from the New York Life Foundation. Sy Sternberg, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of New York Life, said, “Today more than ever, young people need safe places to play. The New York Life Foundation is delighted to join the city and the Trust for Public Land in making this gift to a new generation of New Yorkers.” Additional support for the project was provided by the Charles Hayden Foundation, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation and the Levitt Foundation.

The New York Life Foundation, established in 1979 by New York Life Insurance Company, 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 a company-wide involvement initiative, New York Life also encourages volunteer participation by its employees, agents and retirees.

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.

Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit land conservation organization that protects and enhances open space for the public’s use and enjoyment. The Trust for Public Land ( has preserved over one million acres nationwide, including more than 55,000 acres of land in New York State. TPL has been active in New York City since 1978, and has helped gain permanent protection for over 300 acres of scarce city land.