You’ll be stunned by the million-dollar transformation of this once-empty lot next to a Ridgewood school

Photos courtesy of The Trust for Public Land and New York City

The once-barren asphalt lot at P.S. 75 in Ridgewood has been transformed into a state-of-the-art playground complete with a unique green infrastructure.

The School Construction Authority (SCA) joined with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) — partnering with the Department of Education (DOE) — to bring this new schoolyard to life for the 500 pre-K to 12th grade students who will be using the park.

The 1-acre playground, located at 16-66 Hancock St., includes several green infrastructure elements, including specialized plantings and shade trees, porous pavement and permeable pavers, and a new synthetic turf field made of woven polyester filaments featuring a broken stone storage layer and perforated distribution pipes to promote infiltration.

These features will help capture more than 375,000 gallons of stormwater runoff each year.

Photo courtesy The Trust for Public Land and New York City.
Photo courtesy The Trust for Public Land and New York City.

Another unique aspect of this playground is that it was funded by an innovative public-private partnership, with a private donation from funders to The Trust for Public Land NYC Playgrounds program, and public funding from Councilman Antonio Reynoso and the DOE, DEP and SCA.

The total cost of the playground is a little over $1 million, including $795,000 for construction and $333,000 for design, community engagement and environmental education.

“This new playground will provide students at P.S. 75 and the broader community with a new outdoor space to learn and play,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’re grateful to the Trust for Public Land and the Department of Environmental Protection for their partnership on this project, and look forward to continuing to work together to create more green spaces for students across the cities.”

In order to create the design for the playground, The Trust for Public Land NYC Playgrounds went to the people who would be using the space the most: the children.

Students from P.S. 75 spent three months helping to plan the new playground, which features a large piece of play equipment, a turf field, a running track, an outdoor classroom, color seal art designed by the students, a stage, a garden, trees, a drinking fountain and seating.

“I am so pleased that I was able to help support the construction of this new playground for the children of P.S. 75Q and the Ridgewood community,” Reynoso said. “It’s so unique not only because it provides a much-needed playground for the students and addresses the lack of green infrastructure in our community at the same time, but also because the students were able to have a direct role in the design.”

The playground will also operate as a public open space during weekends, holidays and school vacations.

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