New York City Playgrounds
New York City | New York

What We’re Doing
Transforming over 200 schoolyards into community hubs and quality green spaces where everyone is welcome after school hours.

Our Goal
Provide close-to-home, safe, accessible places for millions of kids and community members in New York City to play, connect, and experience the benefits of time outdoors.

New York Schoolyards by the Numbers
25+
years of work
220+
schoolyards transformed
4M
New Yorkers now living within a 10-minute walk of a new schoolyards
We're Turning Uninspiring City Schoolyards into Community Treasures
To bring the Community Schoolyards model to every town and city will require an all-hands-on-deck approach. Congress needs to increase federal funding so that every child can go out and play on a schoolyard that is both vibrant and healthy.
Watch Play
Explore Our New York Schoolyards
In Newark, New Jersey, administrators at the Sussex Avenue School, which serves students in grades K through 8, noticed improvements in attendance, behavior, and test scores after the schoolyard was renovated. Photo credit: Christian Valdez
Green infrastructure like trees, rain gardens, and bioswales prevents flooding on schoolyards, making them available for play throughout the year. Those features also capture stormwater during rain events, improving water quality in local rivers.
Giving the Gift of Play

Since 1996, Trust For Public Land—alongside countless partners—has helped transform well over 200 schoolyards into thriving parks and playgrounds, getting the absolute most of the space available and giving the gift of social connection and nature play back to the communities. These community hubs are open to the public after school hours and designed to meet the needs of all neighbors, in addition to students. That means new play spaces, athletic courts, and features for New Yorkers of every age, such as shaded seating and exercise tracks in all five boroughs.

Of the 90,000 public schools in the United States, only a fraction are attractive, healthy, and green—and also open to the public during nonschool hours.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Every Community's Climate Solution

These schoolyards also play a vital role in mitigating climate change at a local level, capturing stormwater to reduce flooding and combatting the urban heat island effect by increasing the amount of shade canopy and replacing heat-capturing blacktop with natural surfaces.

The Community Schoolyards model gives students a range of spaces to explore. There are hands-on garden beds; places for active recreation, like basketball courts and climbing structures; and quiet areas for reading and socializing.
We've Only Just Begun

It’s not just the final result that matters in these transformations. It’s also the transformations themselves. With each new playground, the entire community is engaged in the planning, building, and opening of these public hubs—harnessing the creativity and energy of amazing people, one schoolyard at a time. Today, there’s a transformed schoolyard within a 10-minute walk of more than 4 million New Yorkers. And we’re just getting started.

Get in Touch with Our New York Team
New York Office

632 Broadway
Suite 902
New York, NY, 10012
(212) 677-7171
newyork@tpl.org

Vice President Mid-Atlantic Region, New York State Director