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September 17, 2018, (718) 595-6600

The Trust for Public Land, Governor Cuomo and New York City Open New Student-Designed Green Playground to Serve East Flatbush Neighborhood

TPL Winthrop Campus ribbon cutting in Brooklyn

$1.7 Million Playground Brings Over 30,000 Brooklyn Residents Within 10-Minute Walk of a Park

New Green Infrastructure Will Capture One Million Gallons of Stormwater Annually to Mitigate Flooding and Improve Health of Jamaica Bay

Photos and a Rendering are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza joined Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey, New York State Assemblyman Nick Perry, The Trust for Public Land New York State Director Carter Strickland, New York Road Runners Vice President Michael Schnall, and The Winthrop Campus Principal Jameela Horton-Ball, students and faculty to cut the ribbon on a new green community playground. New green infrastructure elements including a turf field, trees and permeable pavement, will be able to capture more than one million gallons of stormwater each year, helping to protect the health of Jamaica Bay. The playground also includes a new basketball court, outdoor classroom space, fitness equipment, and running track.

“Creating and improving access to open space greatly contributes to the health of our communities,” said Governor Cuomo. “Through these playgrounds, the new Shirley Chisolm State Park, community gardens and recreation centers we are greatly expanding this vital need in Brooklyn.”

New York City Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said, “DEP is a proud partner of The Trust for Public Land’s Playground Program, which is transforming asphalt playgrounds across the City into new green spaces for the whole community. The green infrastructure installed at this playground will help to reduce stormwater runoff, improve the health of the surrounding waterways, and beautify the neighborhood.”

Green infrastructure design elements, made possible in part through a partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, 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.

The playground 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. Students at The Winthrop Campus, as well as parents and neighbors, got the chance to contribute to the playground design process. For more information visit the Trust for Public Land website.

The community playground, located on the Winthrop School campus in Brooklyn—within a ten minute walk from more than 30,000 East Flatbush residents—is also the first of eight that will be transformed under the second phase of the Governor’s Vital Brooklyn initiative announced last month. By 2020, the Vital Brooklyn initiative will transform eight playgrounds, renovate 22 community gardens, and improve four recreation centers in Central Brooklyn.

"Thank you, Governor Cuomo and all of our partners, for your continued dedication to improve and expand the outdoors,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. “The opening of this new student-designed playground is only the start to eventually providing access to open space within 10 minutes for all of the Brooklyn community.” “We appreciate the opportunity to work with the Governor and the faculty and students at the Winthrop School to create this beautiful, new green playground, which brings thousands of Flatbush residents within a short 10-minute walk of the new park,” said Carter Strickland, The Trust for Public Land’s New York State Director. “The Vital Brooklyn initiative is an important step for the Central Brooklyn community and helps The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, continue our work to transform communities for the better.”

“We are thrilled to be back at the Winthrop School campus to celebrate the opening of this amazing new space that will be enjoyed by the Rising New York Road Runners here on campus, as well as the entire East Flatbush community,” said Michael Schnall, Vice President of Government Relations & Community Investment at New York Road Runners. “Just months ago, we joined our local elected officials and city agencies in celebrating Governor Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn initiative by breaking ground, and with today's opening we celebrate the improved access for students and families to run and play, in a beautiful, safe outdoor space.”


About New York City DEP

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9.6 million residents, including 8.6 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 $19.1 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
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