Mildred Helms Park

Mildred Helms Playground, NewarkPhoto credit: J. Avery Wham

Mildred Helms Park is the only community open space in its Newark, NJ neighborhood of Clinton Hill. But parents and teachers at adjacent Clinton Avenue Elementary School have long been afraid to let children play in the dilapidated and dangerous park. Before recess, teachers routinely would check the park for broken glass, drug paraphernalia, and other dangerous items. Then, in 2002, neighborhood clergy and residents organized to clean up and reclaim the park. Working with neighbors, the city, the school, and the broader community, TPL raised funds for park reconstruction and worked with students, teachers, and area residents to design a new park. Features include improved lighting for increased safety, a walking track, a miniplaza, gazebo, playground equipment, and newly landscaped entrances. The park re-opened in the fall of 2005.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.