September 13, 2019
"Every community deserves a safe place for children to play and more children of Brooklyn will no longer have to play on barren asphalt playgrounds with worn-out or broken equipment," Governor Cuomo said. "Playgrounds draw young families to parks and inspire children to enjoy the outdoors throughout their lives - an important part of our mission to reverse chronic disparities in Central Brooklyn."
"The Vital Brooklyn Initiative is focused on improving quality of life and transforming Brooklyn for the future," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "Children and families should be able to enjoy modern, safe, and accessible playgrounds, and that is why they are a central part of our efforts to improve neighborhoods in Brooklyn. This project continues our efforts to invest in projects that grow the economy and increase recreational opportunities for New Yorkers."
The new $1.45 million playground is opening at PS 145 at 100 Noll Street, and will serve a community of more than 25,400 people. The PS 145 Community Playground was designed by students, staff, parents, and community members through The Trust for Public Land's NYC Playgrounds Program.
Three such playgrounds, serving more than 80,000 people, have already opened under the Vital Brooklyn initiative since September 2018, and the remaining three projects should open by next summer.
Vital Brooklyn is transforming eight asphalt schoolyards into playgrounds designed by local students, with new equipment, multi-purpose fields, grass, trees and in some cases green infrastructure that will lessen the harmful impact of heavy rains on the city's stressed combined sewer system.
Commissioner of the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Erik Kulleseid said, "Governor Cuomo knows that parks, playgrounds and green spaces improve the quality of life for everyone. New York State Parks wants to see to it that every Brooklyn resident has a great community playground close to where they live. As well as improving lives, some of these rebuilt playgrounds also protect water quality and help make the city more environmentally resilient."
Assembly Member Maritza Davila said, "The Vital Brooklyn Initiative has played a significant role in expanding health and recreational services for North Brooklyn community members. Students, teachers and parents are looking forward to P.S. 145 newly improved playground, which was funded through vital Brooklyn. Green spaces not only positively impact our well-being but it encourages physical activity and improves mental and physical health. Thank you to Governor Cuomo for bringing services such as Vital Brooklyn to our community of Bushwick."
Senator Julia Salazar said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative is affirming the importance of green space and public land for historically disenfranchised New Yorkers. Every family deserves the chance to experience parks and playgrounds in our neighborhoods. Community spaces like these improve public health and general well-being, and I hope to see more initiatives like this become a reality."
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, "Congratulation to PS 145 on their new, state-of-the-art playground! With these investments, we are creating more greenspace for Central Brooklyn, which is critical to closing health disparities and making communities more livable for all. And by incorporating sustainable features such as pavers that divert storm-water runoff, we are bringing forward-thinking design to our playgrounds, teaching children about the importance of taking care of the environment. Thanks to Vital Brooklyn for delivering for Brooklyn families."
City Council Member Antonio Reynoso said, "The newly opened playground at P.S. 145 is welcomed news for residents of Bushwick, where open space and areas of outdoor recreation are sorely needed. The creation of this playground in an area that was formerly an asphalt lot represents a reclaiming of urban space for the benefit of the public. Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn initiative, generations of Bushwick youth now have a space to play, and residents of all ages will benefit from the myriad health and wellness benefits that come along with increased greenery."
In addition to the $10.6 million effort to enhance playgrounds, Vital Brooklyn has renovated 21 of 22 designated community gardens and improved three of four designated recreation centers in Central Brooklyn.
The three playgrounds already opened are at PS 213/The New Lots School, 560 Hegeman Ave.; NS 354/KIPP Academy Middle and Elementary Schools at 1224 Park Place; and Winthrop School Campus, 905 Winthrop St.
The playground projects are also supported by the not-for-profit Trust for Public Land, which help coordinate additional funding from DEP and from private philanthropy.
New York State Director for The Trust for Public Land Carter Strickland said, "Quality playgrounds are an integral part of any neighborhood, and have a range of benefits for the local community from providing places for healthy exercise to absorbing stormwater. The Trust for Public Land is thrilled to be working with Governor Cuomo and the New York City Parks Department to bring playgrounds to New Yorkers. This park alone will be within a 10-minute walk of over 25,000 people."
The new PS 145 playground should divert nearly 900,000 gallons of stormwater a year, helping protect water quality. Environmentally-sensitive features, like pavers that allow rain water to drain through to the ground, as well as plantings and trees, will intercept stormwater from running into city storm drains. About $395,000 for the project came from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said, "Congratulations to Principal Malloy and the entire P.S. 145 community on the completion of their beautiful and environmentally-friendly school playground. Thanks to the student designers and our partners at the Trust for Public Land for creating an amazing space that will absorb nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater annually and improve the health of Newtown Creek."
Launched in 2017, Gov. Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn effort targets some of the most disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York State, including Bushwick, Bedford Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Canarsie, East New York, East Flatbush, Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Cypress Hills/Ocean Hill, and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
Focusing on these Central Brooklyn communities, the initiative addresses a critical need for green space in a city where 73 percent of low-income neighborhoods fail to meet the city's standard of 2.5 acres of parkland for every 1,000 residents.
Vital Brooklyn also supports Governor Cuomo's "Health Across All Policies/Age-Friendly NY" Executive Order, which directs state agencies to incorporate the principles of age- and health-friendly communities into all relevant programs and policies. The effort supports access to healthy food, safe and clean outdoor public space, and expands opportunities for outdoor recreation.
With a total budget of $1.4 billion, the Vital Brooklyn initiative seeks to transform Central Brooklyn by identifying and investing in eight integrated areas that will help 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 in July 2019 of the new 407-acre Shirley Chisholm State Park, named in honor of the Brooklyn-born trailblazer who was the nation's first African American congresswoman, as well as the first African American woman to run for President.
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. Millions of people live near 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.
State Parks oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches, and more, which were visited by a record 74 million people last year. For more information about any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.