December 2021 NYC Community Schools Spotlight:
As the community school model continues to reap benefits for NYC schools, long-term (and green!) benefits from partnerships with community-based organizations are emerging.
Students of P.S. 306 and M.S. 331 helped design a $2.2-million playground that will benefit students from Grades K-8. Scheduled to open in Fall 2024, the playground was designed by the students to reflect their neighborhood’s unique identity, culture, and character. Playground features will include a full basketball court, a volleyball court, an outdoor classroom, game tables, a gazebo, play equipment for younger children, fitness equipment for older students and community members, benches, a running track, and a turf field for soccer and football.
The playground will also feature green infrastructure elements such as shade trees, plantings, permeable pavers, and a synthetic turf field that will capture 2 million gallons of rainwater a year. These features will better manage stormwater runoff that can flood streets and overwhelm sewer systems, as well as reduce sewer overflows and protect the Harlem River watershed.
The P.S. 306/M.S. 331 playground will be built by the Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the Department of Environmental Protection, the School Construction Authority, and the Department of Education. In addition to serving students, once completed, the new schoolyard will reopen to the public during after-school hours between 8 AM and dusk when school programs are not in session, providing opportunities for both children and adults to enjoy a place for exercise, relaxation, and socializing with neighbors.