Today, The Trust for Public Land hosted the grand opening for a new student-designed community playground at M.S. 354 The School of Integrated Learning, KIPP AMP Academy Middle School, and KIPP AMP Elementary Schools in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The ceremony included an official ribbon cutting and opening remarks from guests including Brett Yormark, Chief Executive Officer of BSE Global, which manages and controls the Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center, New York State Assembly Member, Tremaine Wright, and Leslie Wright from New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, among others.
Following the ribbon cutting, there were student dance and band performances, a meet and greet with the Brooklynettes Dance Team, and the Brooklyn Nets Basketball Academy hosted a free clinic for the children in attendance, in addition to leaving behind custom branded basketballs. The Brooklyn Nets and Barclays Center donated a portion of proceeds raised from their annual Barclays Center Cares gala to help support this project.
“We’re proud to partner with the Trust for Public Land and Governor Cuomo’s ‘Vital Brooklyn’ initiative to help young students’ creative park designs become a reality,” said Yormark. “It has always been a priority of ours to positively impact our surrounding community, and we hope this playground will motivate local residents to stay active, and provide a safe place for them to have fun.”
The Crown Heights playground was built in collaboration with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “Vital Brooklyn” initiative, which will transform 8 playgrounds, 22 community gardens, and 4 recreation centers in central Brooklyn by 2020. The “Vital Brooklyn” initiative targets some of the most disadvantaged areas in New York State, recognizing the critical need for green space in a city where 73 percent of low-income neighborhoods fail to meet the city’s standard of 2.5 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents.