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City doesn't kid around with playground plan.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg launched the first phase of the city's Schoolyards to Playgrounds Initiative to open city playgrounds this week. It marked the start of a a $111 million investment from the Bloomberg Administration towards the improvement of schoolyards, which will significantly advance the Mayor's PlaNYC goal of having every New Yorker live within a 10 minute walk of a park or playground.

"This marks the start of realizing a central goal of the PlaNYC agenda--making sure all New Yorkers live within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"To make this goal a reality, we're renovating and opening 290 school playgrounds, constructing 8 new regional parks, completing bike lanes, lighting ball fields, turfing asphalt fields, expanding the greenway network, and opening up the waterfront to the public in every corner of the City."

The Schoolyards to Playgrounds Initiative identified schoolyards in neighborhoods most in need of open space and will open them year round for public use, after school and on weekends. The playgrounds will be accessible from 8:00 a.m. until dusk. Of the 290 total, 69 schoolyards are already equipped for public use and are open.

It is estimated that 100,000 children will be served by these first 69 playgrounds. In addition, the Mayor announced that the planning and design on the remaining 221 schoolyards has begun and will involve the installation of recreational amenities for public use. These renovations will include new tracks, fields, asphalting, turfing, fencing, play equipment, defined play areas, greenery, trees, landscaping and gardens.

It is estimated that this program will allow more than 400,000 children and their families to be within a ten minute walk of a park or playground by 2030. Hundreds of playgrounds containing dozens of high-quality competition fields, and acres of open space exist in every borough, are often used only a few hours a day. Through their Parks for People Initiative, The Trust for Public Land works in cities across America to ensure that everyone, particularly every child, enjoys close-to-home access to a park, playground, or natural area.

The Trust for Public Land will develop 30 schoolyards into model community parks through a child-led design process and extensive community partnerships. Another 161 sites will receive participatory design oversight by TPL for the construction of new playgrounds. The Trust for Public Land will be raising $8.5 in funding for renovations.
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Comment:City doesn't kid around with playground plan.
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jul 11, 2007
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