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April 17, 2018, 718-595-6600

The Trust for Public Land and New York City Break Ground on New Green Student-Designed Playground to Serve Flushing Neighborhood


New Green Infrastructure Will Capture 1.2 Million Gallons of Stormwater Annually and Improve Health of Flushing Creek

$1.2M Playground Will Bring 17,000 Residents Within a 10-Minute Walk of a Park

Photos Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, The Trust for Public Land New York State Director Carter Strickland, I.S. 250Q - The Robert F. Kennedy Community School Principal Tara Mrwik, students and faculty yesterday to break ground on the construction of a new, state-of-the-art green playground to serve the school and surrounding community, and bring nearly 17,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of a park. Once completed, the $1.2 million playground will incorporate new green infrastructure elements including a rain garden, turf field, trees and permeable pavement, in addition to a running track, basketball practice hoops, tennis courts, outdoor classroom space, game tables, and new fitness equipment.

”DEP is so proud of our partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the Department of Education, which has resulted in the creation of more than a dozen state-of-the-art playgrounds citywide,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Once completed, the new green infrastructure at I.S. 250 will be able to absorb 1.2 million gallons of stormwater each year and help to improve the health of Flushing Creek.”

“Today’s groundbreaking is a significant investment in the future of Flushing, providing a new state-of the art playground for use by schoolchildren and the entire neighborhood,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “This student-designed and environmentally-friendly playground will be a critically important recreational resource that will help our children be physically active. Councilmember Lancman, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and The Trust for Public Land deserve to be commended for supporting this funding effort to make this playground a reality.”

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 East River watersheds.

“Today is a special day for our community as construction gets underway for the new playground at 250Q,” said Councilman Rory Lancman. “This playground will be built with input and insight from those who know playgrounds best—the students at 250Q. I am proud to provide funding to help make this new playground a reality, and look forward to seeing the playground when it is completed.”

“The students and at I.S. 250 are making the city a better place, one playground at a time. Their work with The Trust For Public Land will create a beautiful, new green space for the entire Flushing community to enjoy, and over 17,000 residents will be just a short 10-minute walk from place where they can exercise, relax under trees, play games, have fun, and connect with their neighbors.” said Carter Strickland, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “This work would not be possible without the tremendous support and partnership of the Queens Borough President, the City Council, the Departments of Environmental Protection and Education, and private donors who care about giving back to the city they love. We look forward to the day that this lot will turn into a vibrant, new recreational space for all ages.”

“Today is a monumental day for the Parsons Complex. We are very excited for the ground breaking event, as the playground has been a long time coming. Our students, staff, and CBO worked collaboratively as a Campus with The Trust for Public land representatives to design this state of the art community playground,” said I.S. 250 Principal Tara Mrwik. “It was designed to allow access for all children to participate in a variety of physical activities as well as provide focused instruction on green infrastructures. A very special thanks to Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Councilmember Rory Lancman, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Education, and The New York City School Construction Authority for allowing us the opportunity to beautify our Campus and Community.”

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 398 students at I.S. 250, as well as parents and neighbors, got the chance to contribute to the playground design process. Construction of the playground is scheduled to be complete in Fall 2018.

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

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600