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March 29, 2018
DEP:, 718-595-6600
Maggie McKeon:, 315-730-5101

New York City, The Trust for Public Land, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson Break Ground on New Student-Designed Playground to Serve Chelsea Neighborhood

PS 33 Chelsea Prep, Trust For Public Lands Groundbreaking

$1.16M Playground Will Bring 30,000 Residents Within a 10-Minute Walk of a Park

Green Infrastructure Will Capture 365,000 Gallons of Stormwater and Improve Health of East River

Photos Available on the DEP’s Flickr Page

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza, The Trust for Public Land New York State Director Carter Strickland, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and P.S. 33 Chelsea Prep Principal Cindy Wang joined students and faculty today to break ground on the construction of a new, state-of-the-art green playground in Chelsea. This new play space at P.S. 33 will serve the school and surrounding community, and bring nearly 30,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of a park. Once completed, the $1.16 million playground will include a running track, turf field, basketball practice hoops, soccer field, game tables, trees, outdoor classroom space, play equipment for 5-12 year olds, and safety mats.

The groundbreaking is part of The Trust for Public Land’s Playgrounds Program, which serves to create vibrant, educational and fun playgrounds for New York City’s schoolchildren. All The Trust for Public Land playgrounds include student participation in the design process, providing them 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. All 628 students at P.S. 33 got the chance to contribute to the playground design process. Construction of the playground is scheduled to be complete in September 2018.

“DEP is so proud of our partnership with The Trust for Public Land and Department of Education, which has resulted in the creation of more than a dozen state-of-the-art green playgrounds citywide,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Once completed, the new green infrastructure at P.S. 33 will be able to absorb over 365,000 gallons of stormwater each year and help to improve the health of the East River.rdquo;

“The Trust for Public Land is proud of our work with the New York City Department of Education, Department of Environmental Protection and local elected officials in turning former asphalt lots into vibrant, green, state-of-the-art play spaces for children across the City,” said Carter Strickland, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “The creation of this new playground—led with the tremendous assistance of the students of P.S. 33—will not only serve the needs of the school, but will create a beautiful new park for the entire community to enjoy.”

“This playground is a perfect example of the good a non-profit and city government can do when we put our heads together,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “What a great program the Trust for Public Land has created. Students, parents, teachers all came together, brainstormed and pooled their ideas to design a playground that thousands of their neighbors will soon be able to enjoy. I would have loved to have had this opportunity as a kid.rdquo;

“School playgrounds play a vital role in our children's physical, intellectual and social development. Our school playground is not only a place where students come together for recess, it is an extension of our communal learning environment where our children learn to share, collaborate, problem solve, and expand their creativity and imagination,” said P.S. 33 Principal Cindy Wang. “While our students and families have fond memories of our current playground, we are eager to have it updated for our students and the community to enjoy for many years to come.”

Green infrastructure design elements, made possible in part through a partnership with DEP, 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. Each playground absorbs hundreds of thousands of gallons of water annually and includes 20-30 new trees that bring shade and better air quality to their neighborhoods. Similar playgrounds are also being designed in the Bronx River and Flushing Bay watersheds.

Since 1996, working with the City, The Trust for Public Land’s NYC Playgrounds Program has designed and/or built 194 school and community playgrounds across the five boroughs. In addition to serving students, all playgrounds in New York City 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 program has added more than 150 acres of additional playground space serving the nearly 3.5 million people who live within a 10-minute walk of one of the sites. The need 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.

About New York City DEP

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $18.9 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.


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

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

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(718) 595-6600