The Trust for Public Land, MetLife Foundation, the Department of Environmental Protection and Local Officials Host Opening Ceremony for New, Student-Designed Green Playground to Serve the Foxhurst Neighborhood

The new playground will provide 36,500 residents a new park within a 10-minute walk of home and will capture 1.1 million gallons of storm water each year

June 25, 2019
New York, NY

The Trust for Public Land, MetLife Foundation, The Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., the School Construction Authority, and the Department of Environmental Protection joined Accion Academy, The School of Performing Arts, and South Bronx Classical Charter School students and faculty June 25th to open a new, state-of-the-art green playground to serve the school and surrounding community, providing more than 36,500 residents a new park within a 10-minute walk of home. The $1.35 million playground includes a running track, turf field, basketball hoops, trees, benches, green-roof gazebo, amphitheater, and play equipment, providing the park-needy neighborhood with a diverse range of public amenities.

The community playground is funded in part through the generous support of the Bronx Borough President’s office, Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., MetLife Foundation, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Trust for Public Land. 

“The playground is the 25th we have supported in New York City through our long partnership with The Trust for Public Land,” said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “We are pleased to join the organization and funders in bringing Foxhurst students’ and neighbors’ ideas to life and creating a community space that increases recreational opportunities while protecting the environment.” 

The new park was created in partnership with The Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program, which for more than 20 years has been creating vibrant, educational, and fun playgrounds for New York City’s schoolchildren in all five boroughs. All Trust for Public Land playgrounds include student participation in the design process, providing them with hands-on learning of the science, math, and landscape architecture that goes into designing community playgrounds while giving them an a direct voice in what is needed in their school’s playground. Students at the Foxhurst campus, as well as parents and neighbors, got the chance to contribute to the playground design process and construction of the playground began in fall 2018.

“I am proud to have such an innovative project come to fruition in The Bronx. By emphasizing green infrastructure and incorporating design input from the next generation, this park looks to the future of what is possible in our public spaces. Thank you to The Trust for Public Land, MetLife Foundation, City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., and all of our other community partners who helped to make this playground a reality,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. 

“The Trust for Public Land is proud of our work with the New York City Department of Education, Department of Environmental Protection and local elected officials in turning former asphalt lots into vibrant, green, state-of-the-art play spaces for children across the City,” said Carter Strickland, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “The creation of this new playground – led with the tremendous assistance of the students – will not only serve the needs of the school, but is a beautiful new park for the entire community to enjoy.”

“DEP is so proud of our partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the Department of Education, which has resulted in the creation of more than a dozen new state-of-the-art playgrounds citywide,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “This reimagined schoolyard now provides a fun and safe place for NYC school students and the South Bronx community, while also helping to improve the ecological health of the East River.”

Green infrastructure design elements, made possible through a partnership with DEP, are a hallmark of The Trust for Public Land’s playground work. These features reduce stormwater runoff that can flood streets and overwhelm sewer systems, allowing untreated water to end up in rivers and bays. Each playground absorbs hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually and includes 20-30 new trees that bring shade, lower temperatures, and better air quality to their neighborhoods.

Since 1996, working with the City, The Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program has designed and/or built 204 school and community playgrounds across the five boroughs. In addition to serving students, all playgrounds in New York City are open to the public on weekends, after school, and during school breaks, providing opportunities for both children and adults to be physically active all year long. The program has added more than 160 acres of additional playground space serving the nearly 4 million people who live within a 10-minute walk of one of the sites. The need is critical in a city where 73 percent of low-income neighborhoods fail to meet the city’s standard of 2.5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents.

 

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.

 

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employees to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2018, MetLife Foundation provided $822 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.