Parks Department and Elected Officials Break Ground on Battery Playscape

Map of the Battery Playscape once it is completed. Click map for larger image. Image Credit: NYC Parks

The Battery Playscape will cover 1.5 acres of waterfront space at the east end of Battery Park in lower Manhattan. On March 12th, 2020 NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price, and local elected officials and community members broke ground on the Battery Playscape reconstruction project. The Battery Playscape will be located at State Street and Peter Minuit Plaza in lower Manhattan.

The Playscape is designed with resiliency, sustainability and children’s education in mind. The project will redevelop existing park space to create an immersive experience for children to learn about the effects of climate change and to connect with nature. The park is divided into five geographical zones including simulated bluff, marsh, dune, meadow and riverbed. Each zone features interactive elements including granite slides, interlevel playhouses, treehouses and an improv/puppet theater. The park will feature sustainable materials, innovative water management strategies and a wide range of plant habitats.

This project is the final piece in The Battery Masterplan, which includes the blueprint for the revitalization of the 25-acre waterfront park. The $18.3 million project was funded by various sources including $9 million from Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a $7.65 million MTA grant, $800,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $500,000 from City Council Member Margaret Chin, and $350,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

Council Member Chin stated, “Through its creative and sustainable design, the Battery Playscape will transform our vibrant Lower Manhattan ecosystem into a living and breathing classroom for students and families. When working in harmony with the surrounding natural environment, New York City’s open spaces serve as a hub of scientific curiosity, independent thinking, and self-discovery for our young people, and I have no doubt that the Playscape’s unique elements – from an accessible tree house and simulated geographical zones – will tap into the imagination of a whole generation of future climate change activists.”

President and founder of the Battery Conservancy Warrie Price stated, “We are excited to begin construction on a unique nature-driven playground that marks the culmination of our 25-year campaign to revitalize and transform the historic Battery into a world-renowned cultural destination. The Battery Playscape can change the way playgrounds are built and redefine their impact, transforming climate challenges into opportunities for creative play, learning, and the cultivation of the next generation of environmental stewards.”

Manhattan Community Board 1 Chair Anthony Notaro stated, “Since 9/11, Community District 1 has tripled its residential population and now has lots of families. So to have this treasure in our community is fantastic.”

By: Anna Kovalevska (Anna is a New York Law School student, class of 2020.)


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