Trust for Public Land, Nike, New York City Celebrate Opening of New Community Schoolyard at Vince Lombardi Elementary

Trust for Public Land and partners Nike, the New York City School Construction Authority, and Vince Lombardi Elementary are proud to celebrate the opening of the newest Community Schoolyard in Brooklyn.

“Parks are essential for the health of all 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 Tamar Renaud, New York State 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. TPL is proud to have the support of Nike and our city partners who are also dedicated to increasing access to nature through Community Schoolyards.”

The newly renovated schoolyard will feature play equipment, a handball court, basketball courts, picnic tables, an outdoor classroom, pollinator gardens, and green infrastructure that will capture nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater annually that will in turn ease pressure on the area’s sewer system, reduce flooding and help improve the health of New York Harbor.

Through its Community Climate Resilience Program, Nike has awarded TPL a $2 million dollar grant to fund park and Community Schoolyards®. The projects serve four low-income, underserved neighborhoods across New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago that are facing disproportionate climate threats and lack of access to places to play.

“Transforming asphalt schoolyards into sponges that absorb all the rain and snow that falls on them is one of many ways we are working to improve drainage and reduce flooding in neighborhoods across the city,” said DEP Deputy Commissioner for Sustainability Angela Licata. “Thank you to our terrific partners at the Trust for Public Land who work closely with the school community to ensure each of these projects is a success – and help to improve the health of NY Harbor!”

“We are proud to contribute to a space where sport, sustainability and kids’ imaginations are nurtured. Through our partnership with Trust for Public Land in the Community Climate Resilience Program, Nike is helping support both physical and environmental health. This investment, which sits at the intersection of social impact and environmental progress, is a testament to the power of community and collaboration, and is part of our commitment to powering the future of youth sport,” shared Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Chief Impact Officer, NIKE, Inc.

This opening is the part of the Mayoral Extreme Weather Task Force, established in 2021 to explore the City’s response to extreme weather events and address a rapidly changing reality in which extreme storms like Hurricane Ida are increasingly common.

“The creation of the new Healthy Schools category in our 2025-2029 Capital Plan is a commitment to providing students with an environment that is not only conducive to learning, but also prioritizes their well-being and physical fitness,” SCA President and CEO, Nina Kubota said. “The $60 million included in the Capital Plan will help children access outdoor play spaces that are essential for their holistic development, fostering physical activity, social interaction, and imaginative play. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with TPL as they continue to transform schoolyards into beautiful, vibrant green spaces where everyone is welcome during and after school hours.”

Access to the outdoors for sport and play is a fundamental human need, essential to our health and well-being, and is an important tool in mitigating the effects of climate change. And yet, 100 million people, including 28 million kids, do not have access to a quality park within a 10-minute walk from home. The parks we do have are often not equitable. On average, parks in communities of color in the U.S. are half the size, lower quality, and in many instances more prone to flooding than parks serving predominantly white neighborhoods.

Since 1996, TPL’s NYC Playgrounds Program has helped design and build 227 school and community playgrounds across the five boroughs.

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 5,420 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $94 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit