Trust for Public Land, with the support from the Brooklyn Nets & New York Liberty Foundation, the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, and the NYC Department of Environmental Protection celebrated the opening of the newly renovated schoolyard at the Juan Morel Campos Secondary School in Brooklyn on Monday.
The renovated space includes an outdoor classroom, basketball courts, a turf field, running track, trees, permeable pavers, play equipment, fitness equipment, game tables, benches, color seal art, a recycling center, and a drinking fountain. The basketball courts were designed by New York-based artist Nina Chanel Abney.
“Parks and playgrounds provide tremendous benefits for communities, from mental and physical well-being to improving environmental health, and having open space close to home means people will use it more often and get more benefits,” said Carter Strickland, VP of the Mid-Atlantic and New York State Director for Trust for Public Land. “We’re thrilled to be able to celebrate the opening of this new outdoor space that will serve so many Brooklyn residents and give children a safe place to play and learn.”
The schoolyard will be open to the community during non-school hours and will serve over 17,000 residents living within a 10-minute walking distance.
“In addition to being a beautiful play space for students and the neighborhood, this new Green Infrastructure playground will absorb all of the rain and snow that falls on it, which will help to reduce any neighborhood flooding and improve the health of nearby Newtown Creek,” said DEP Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. “Thank you to the entire I.S. 71 community, our partners at Trust for Public Land, and the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty – what a team!”
As part of the renovation, sustainable elements were incorporated throughout the schoolyard, including permeable pavers and a turf field that will help capture 840,000 gallons of stormwater each year. The designs will help prevent flooded streets and overwhelmed sewer systems, keeping untreated water from polluting New York City waterways.
“The Brooklyn Nets & New York Liberty Foundation strives to create equitable access to education and sports,” said Mandy Gutmann, Executive Vice President, Community Relations and Communications, BSE Global. “We know that the skills learned in basketball can transcend into tools for life and through this partnership, we are helping ensure the surrounding community has a place to play. We hope these beautifully designed courts will inspire the students to play hard, study hard, and have fun.”
“New York City is at its best when kids and families have the spaces they need to be great,” said Jose Mena, Director for KDCF. “Since 2015, we’ve helped transform 27 basketball courts across the world, and it is special to have worked so closely with the Nets, Liberty, Trust for Public Land, and surrounding community on this project in Brooklyn.”