Neighborhood Play: Stroud Playground

December 15, 2015

The Prospect Park Alliance contributed its design expertise to revitalize Stroud Playground in neighboring Crown Heights, which is an important community amenity as well as outdoor space for two public schools, PS 316 and MS 383. The $5.1 million project is part of Mayor de Blasio’s Community Parks Initiative, a citywide plan orchestrated by NYC Parks to renovate parks in communities with the greatest need through capital funding, programming and strategic partnerships, and also received funding from Council Member Laurie Cumbo.

“The Alliance brings decades of expertise in designing award-winning playgrounds in Prospect Park to this project,” said Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “It is important to share this knowledge with surrounding communities to strengthen and revitalize New York’s diverse green spaces.”

Stroud marks the Alliance’s first major design project outside Prospect Park. In order to further this partnership, the Alliance has also committed to providing pro-bono design services to transform two additional CPI projects in 2016 and 2017. Cumulatively, these three projects will represent a total commitment valued at $700,000 of in-kind support.

The Alliance developed a new design that fits many amenities into a compact, one-acre space. In a public forum held last December, the community voiced a strong desire for basketball courts, play spaces, ample lighting, and areas for parties and picnics. These elements are incorporated into the design, along with new play equipment and water features, shaded seating areas and picnic tables, handball courts, a jogging track, a turf field with misting spray and a quiet garden that can serve as an outdoor classroom.

“One of the most important parts of the renovation is how we are opening up the playground to the surrounding neighborhood,” said Justine Heilner, Alliance Senior Landscape Architect. “The design removed chain-link fencing to create a more accessible and engaging space, and new trees will be planted along the perimeter to create a green and inviting entranceway.”

Environmental sustainability and cost efficiency also played a major role in the redesign. The project will reuse some of the existing materials for benches and paving. Energy efficient lighting will be installed, and nearly 30 new trees will be planted. The Alliance and NYC Parks are also working closely with the Department of Environmental Protection on storm water management strategies. Rain gardens, porous paving and underground detention tanks will absorb storm water runoff not only from the playground itself but also the surrounding streets.

Stroud Playground construction begins in September 2017 and expected to take approximately one year to complete.