Queens opens new green infrastructure schoolyard

Jan. 8, 2024
A newly upgraded playground in Maspeth, Queens features green infrastructure assets to manage 1.3 million gallons of stormwater per year while providing educational and recreational opportunities to nearby residents.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection celebrated the opening of a newly renovated green infrastructure schoolyard in Maspeth, Queens.

The new upgraded playground at P.S. 153Q, Maspeth Elementary features green infrastructure assets to manage 1.3 million gallons of stormwater per year. The assets will help to reduce runoff that can flood streets and overwhelm sewer systems.

“To better manage the extreme rainfall that climate change is bringing to New York City we are looking at every property for opportunities to let the water absorb naturally into the ground and this beautiful playground is a terrific example of what we can do,” said New York City Chief Climate Officer and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “We have now built green infrastructure to absorb stormwater at nearly 200 schools, parks, NYCHA campuses and other public spaces, all in an effort to reduce flooding and protect public safety and property.”

The schoolyard will give quality park access to nearly 15,000 residents within a 10-minute walk of the school.

Since 1996, Trust for Public Land (TPL) has helped complete 226 schoolyards across New York City, including 71 in Queens alone.

“This new community space is a key part of our work to close the park equity gap and increase climate resiliency,” said Mary Alice Lee, NYC Playgrounds Program Director for TPL. “In addition to serving the entire neighborhood with quality park space, this schoolyard will give students the opportunity to learn and play outdoors and its green infrastructure features will absorb millions of gallons of stormwater that would otherwise flood our city streets.”

The schoolyard was designed using The Trust for Public Land’s unique participatory design process where teachers and students contributed ideas and voted on the final plan. In addition to green infrastructure, students from Maspeth Elementary designed the schoolyard space to include a turf field, running track, play equipment, garden space, a Little Library, and an outdoor classroom.

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