The Trust for Public Land Opens Its 200th Student-Designed Playground in New York City in Partnership with Governor Cuomo’s $1.4B ‘Vital Brooklyn’ Investment to Improve Brooklyn

New park advances the Trust for Public Land’s Playgrounds Program, which has worked with communities to add 160 acres of park space across all five boroughs, serving 4M residents

October 23, 2018
New York, NY

The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with Governor Cuomo’s Vital Brooklyn initiative, announced the opening of a new student-designed community playground at PS 213-New Lots in Brooklyn. The playground opening marks the 200th space transformed by the Trust for Public Land as part of its NYC Playgrounds Program, which has added more than 160 acres of playspace across all five boroughs since 1996, serving more than 4 million people who live within a 10-minute walk of one of the sites. The need for green space 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.


“Our Vital Brooklyn initiative is continuing to implement our goal of expanding and improving access to green space and outdoor recreational opportunities for the communities of Brooklyn,” Governor Cuomo said. “These student designed playgrounds are essential in providing neighborhoods with an additional resource for a healthier and more active environment to enjoy.”


More than 20,000 local residents live within a 10-minute walk of the new playground, which features new play equipment, a multipurpose field with running track, a full basketball court, gardens and planted areas, shade trees, and benches. The New Lots community playground is one of eight playgrounds to be transformed under the Governor's Vital Brooklyn initiative announced earlier this year. By 2020, the Vital Brooklyn initiative will transform eight playgrounds, renovate 22 community gardens, and improve four recreation centers in Central Brooklyn.


“We are proud to celebrate the opening of the New Lots playground, which will revitalize the neighborhood and improve the health and lives of 20,000 residents that now have a beautiful, inspirational community space to use for play, exercise, connecting with nature, and chatting with their neighbors,” said Carter Strickland, the Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “The Trust for Public Land with our many partners has opened 200 playgrounds across New York City, improving 200 communities and the lives of 4 million people. This milestone project also contributes to our 10-Minute Walk to a Park initiative, which aims to provide every American with a safe, beautiful park within a short walk from home. Thanks to our partnership with the Governor’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative and the many community groups that made this possible, thousands of local residents will be able to enjoy this park.”


“We are thrilled and excited to have a new playground for our students to enjoy and to share with the school community,” said PS 213 Principal Stanley Moise. “From beginning to fruition, a special thank you to everyone involved in this project. On behalf of our PS 213 and the school community and our students, thank you, thank you.”


“Having access to playgrounds helps encourage families with children to further connect with nature and the outdoors,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “I applaud Governor Cuomo and our partners at Trust For Public Land for continuing to transform playgrounds into modern facilities for residents to enjoy and inspiring the youth to enjoy healthy recreation options.” 


The opening ceremony was supported by community leaders and key partners such as New York State Parks Commissioner, Rose Harvey; New York State Assemblymember, Charles Barron; New York State Assemblymember, Roxanne J. Persaud; New York City Council Member Inez Barron; The Trust for Public Land New York State Director, Carter Strickland; PS 213 Principal Stanley Moise, and New Lots students and faculty, and featured a student dance performance.


The Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program

Working with the City, the Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program has designed and/or built 200 school and community playgrounds that serve students and are open to the public on weekends, after school, and during school breaks, providing opportunities for both children and adults to be physically active.


The Trust for Public Land's Playgrounds Program serves to create vibrant, educational, and fun playgrounds for New York City's schoolchildren. All Trust for Public Land playgrounds include student participation in the design process, providing the students with hands-on learning of the science, math, and architecture that goes into designing playgrounds, while giving them an opportunity to voice their thoughts on what is needed in their school's playground. Students at New Lots, as well as parents and neighbors, got the chance to contribute to the playground design process.


PS 213-New Lots in Brooklyn

The new student-designed community playground on the New Lots campus includes green infrastructure design elements, which 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. The green infrastructure elements include a turf field designed to absorb stormwater, trees, pervious pavers, and other green infrastructure elements, which can capture up to an inch of rainwater during storms and amount to over one million gallons per year. The trees also provide shade and improve air quality, make the city more resilient on hot summer days and improve residents' health. 


Vital Brooklyn Initiative

Governor Cuomo's $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative seeks to transform the Central Brooklyn region by identifying and investing in eight integrated areas that will help to establish a national paradigm for addressing chronic disparities, such as systemic violence and entrenched poverty in high-need communities. The comprehensive plan targets increased access to open spaces and recreation which includes the opening of the new 407-acre state park named in honor of Shirley Chisholm, a Brooklyn-born trailblazer who was the first African American Congresswoman, as well as the first woman and African American to run for President. $10.6 million is also being provided to transform eight schoolyards into community playgrounds and open space, $3.1 million to transform nearly two dozen community gardens, and $1.8 million to enhance four recreation centers across Central Brooklyn.


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