Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

April 29, 2010

Rachel Gordon

Playground at East River State Park Opens

Juicy Juice-funded play area enhances park's natural and historic features

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today unveiled a new playground at East River State Park, providing a unique new play area in a natural setting for young children in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. The play area was funded primarily through a gift from Nestle Juicy Juice.

"The play area provides a great spot for young children and families in Williamsburg to get outside and play in a small slice of nature," said State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash. "This much-needed playground is a wonderful addition to East River State Park, which has fast become a treasured community gathering spot since the park was established. As we in state government continue to deal with current economic realities and fewer resources, I'm thankful to Nestle Juicy Juice for stepping forward to help provide this improvement for our patrons."

"At Juicy Juice, we strive to help parents raise healthy, happy children, and partnering with the New York State Parks is the perfect way to provide families across the state with safe and enjoyable play environments," said Victoria Nuevo-Celeste, Nestlé Juicy Juice Marketing Manager. "Public and private partnerships are more vital than ever to the well-being of our communities, and Juicy Juice is thrilled to be able to serve hundreds of thousands of local families in this way."

"One of the most beautiful spaces in New York City – which I helped save from becoming a trucking depot a few short years ago – is one step closer to being a fully completed, fully equipped park with all the amenities," said Assemblyman Joe Lentol. "I want to thank everyone who brought the children of our community this wonderful playground; we need more open space in our community and I am always grateful when I see it happening."

"This new playground comes just in time for summer and will give kids and families in the community a great place to gather, play, and enjoy the East River State Park," Senator Daniel Squadron said. "I want to recognize my colleagues in government, along with the State Parks Department, Friends of the East River State Park, and Nestle Juicy Juice for bringing such a great public space to the community."

"Bravo to the State Parks Department, Friends of the East River State Park, Nestle Juicy Juice and all the supporters who made possible this green, ‘urban emerald' that reclaims part of Williamsburg's waterfront for appropriate recreational and public use," said Borough President Marty Markowitz. "Kudos to the East River Park playground for keeping our waterfront forever young – and forever green!"

The play area is set in a newly planted grove of trees and incorporates many of the historic features of the 19th century shipping dock that previously inhabited the site. Playground equipment includes a wooden train that lines up with historic railroad tracks embedded in the concrete, a see-saw-like human scale, and jumping platforms. In addition, five new interpretive signs with information about the history of Williamsburg and the park site have been installed.

Opened in 2007, the 7-acre East River State Park combines unbeatable views of the Manhattan skyline with open green space for recreation and relaxation, and hosts a popular summer concert series. Nearly 240,000 people visited East River State Park last year.

Nestle Juicy Juice provided a $350,000 gift to build new playgrounds at seven state parks across New York.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 178 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit