PS 120 Community Playground

58-01 136th St, Flushing, NY, 11355, USA

Project Partners: 

School Construction Authority, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, New York Road Runners.

What started this project: 

A combined interest from the school for a new playground, our partners at the DEP to capture stormwater in this school's wastewater drainage basin, TPL to increase park access by creating a playground at a site which is within a ten-minute walk of 11,000 people (32% children), NYRR to create more running tracks in NYC, and the Council Member and Borough President to improve parks access in their community.

Goals: 
  • Increase park access for NYC residents.
  • Create community buy-in/foster future stewards through a ten-week participatory design process.
  • Create a quality park the serves the school and community's needs.
  • Capture stormwater to reduce incidents of Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) during storm events in NYC.
  • Improve the physical and mental wellness of NYC students and families.
Process: 

Through the ten-week participatory design process, 3 classes of students worked with the team from TPL and our Landscape Architects, Studio HIP, to assess their site conditions, learn about stormwater capture, take a field trip to an existing TPL playground, survey their school community, work with templates to lay out and refine their designs, design natural areas, carry out a school-wide vote on 2 final designs, and design art for their schoolyard.

Results: 

The new schoolyard increased the number of activities available to NYC students during recess and included the following: An artificial turf field, two-lane running track, basketball practice hoop, game tables, and benches, gazebo with a green roof, trees, an outdoor classroom with amphitheater seating, extended planting area with mushroom forest seating, a turf pod, and student art on the ground. The schoolyard captures around 500,000 gallons of stormwater per year, an inch per rain event.

Project Tagline: 

Every child deserves a safe and fun place to play within a ten-minute walk of home.