NYC celebrates green infrastructure renovations for schoolyard

June 2, 2023
A newly-renovated green schoolyard at the Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School in Queens will manage nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater per year – reducing flood risk, improving water quality, and providing park access.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) celebrated the opening of the newly-renovated green schoolyard at the Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School in Maspeth, Queens.

The schoolyard now features green infrastructure installations that will manage nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater per year, helping to reduce neighborhood flood and pollution in nearby Newtown Creek. The schoolyard will also provide quality park access to the 14,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of the school.

“Climate change is delivering more intense storms and flooding to New York City which is why this new schoolyard is not only beautiful, it is also fully functional and will absorb nearly 1 million gallons of stormwater every year,” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Thanks to our terrific partners at TPL and the smart student designers at I.S. 73Q, this schoolyard will help to reduce neighborhood flooding and reduce pollution in nearby Newtown Creek.

The Frank Sansivieri Intermediate School (I.S. 73Q) Community Schoolyard was designed by students, staff, parents, and community members through Trust for Public Land’s (TPL’s) NYC Playgrounds Program. This playground includes trees, pervious pavers, and other green infrastructure elements that will capture more than an inch of rainwater in storm events.

Funding to help make this schoolyard renovation possible came through DEP, the office of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and New York City Council Member Robert Holden.

TPL’s goal for every schoolyard is to turn blacktop “playgrounds” into vibrant, verdant spaces that do double duty as neighborhood parks outside of school hours. Since 1996, TPL has helped complete 225 schoolyards across New York City, including 71 in Queens.

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