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November 19, 2018, (718) 595-6600

New “Green” Playground at P.S. 50 in Jamaica Helps to Improve the Health of Jamaica Bay


Community Playground Has Been Transformed with Green Infrastructure to Capture More than 800,000 Gallons of Stormwater Annually and Improve the Health of Jamaica Bay

Photos Available on DEP’s Flickr page

New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and School Construction Authority President Lorraine Grillo today announced the completion of a new “green” playground at P.S. 50 in Jamaica. The school’s playground has been transformed with the addition of green infrastructure that has the capacity to capture up to 836,000 gallons of stormwater annually, which will help to improve the health of Jamaica Bay. The playground improvements include a turf field, new running track and benches to complement the existing play equipment and basketball hoop. The cost for the new playground was nearly $1.6 million.

“The new green infrastructure at this playground is not only absorbing stormwater and helping to improve the health of Jamaica Bay, it is also providing a fun, safe place to play,” said DEP Commissioner Sapienza. “We are proud to partner with the School Construction Authority to transform this asphalt playground into a beautiful new green space for the whole community.”

“New York City schools make up the vast majority of the City’s real estate assets. We are pleased to open our schoolyards and support this important effort to lessen the flow of stormwater into our sewers, thereby reducing overflow into our rivers and bays,” said Lorraine Grillo, President and CEO of the NYC School Construction Authority.

State Senator James Sanders Jr. said: “This new green playground is a welcome addition to the Jamaica community, providing our children with a fun, safe, place to exercise and play, while also serving the practical purpose of absorbing stormwater and aiding the health of Jamaica Bay. I applaud the city for making this important investment and I look forward to seeing the benefits of its creation flourish.”

“This playground will not only provide a great new place for children from the school and community to play but its green infrastructure will absorb storm water and improve the health of Jamaica Bay,” said Council Member Adrienne Adams. “Queens is thrilled to unveil the much anticipated upgrades to P. S. 50's new green playground. I thank DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza and SCA President Lorraine Grillo for their partnership to make this important project a reality.”

P.S. 50 is located along Allendale Street between 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue and is part of the Schoolyards to Playgrounds initiative that opens playgrounds to the community after school hours. Stormwater that falls on the playground and basketball areas is now being directed towards the synthetic turf field and the specially engineered drainage system beneath it. Two new rain gardens and trees provide additional drainage. By keeping up to 836,000 gallons of stormwater out of the neighborhood’s combined sewer system every year, this playground helps to reduce Combined Sewer Overflows into Jamaica Bay.

Green infrastructure upgrades, such as the one at P.S. 50, are part of Mayor de Blasio’s commitment of $1.9 billion to address flooding in southeast Queens. In addition, rain gardens will be built to intercept stormwater on the roadways and green infrastructure improvements will be made at City parks, other schools and NYCHA facilities.

The bulk of the funding will go towards the construction of large trunk sewer spines along 150th Street, Guy Brewer Boulevard, Farmers Boulevard and Springfield Boulevard. Dozens of smaller local sewer projects will connect neighborhoods to the trunk sewer spines. Bluebelts are also being constructed to help manage stormwater at Springfield Lake, Baisley Pond, Twin Ponds and Brookville Triangle.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking 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 $19.4 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.

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
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