Mary Alice Lee, NYC Playgrounds Program Director

The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land’s New York City Playgrounds Program works in partnership with New York City’s Department of Education and Department of Environmental Protection to renovate barren asphalt school lots into vibrant community playgrounds that provide inspiring places for students to play and learn. Each playground we create is designed to include state-of-the-art play equipment, athletic facilities, gardens, and opportunities for environmental education. They offer multiple benefits to their local neighborhoods - and beyond – as they use green infrastructure to bolster the city’s environmental resiliency, and provide safe places for underserved kids to connect with the outdoors.

Since 2007 we have been thrilled to work with Groundswell to create murals at 15 of our newly renovated playgrounds (with more in the pipeline). Groundswell’s deep engagement with youth participants and community members mirrors our own Participatory Design process.

It is not just the fantastic Groundswell process that we love, it is also the amazing products: high-quality, large-scale murals that capture the spirit of the vibrant communities they serve. “We All Share One Sky” at CS 300 in the West Farms section of the Bronx and “The Power of Flourishing Minds” at PS 15 in Manhattan’s East Village are just two examples of the powerful visual messages that beautify the playgrounds.

Groundswell’s murals bring the playgrounds to life, providing unique artistic expressions of the students’ vision. The youth involved in the playground and mural design are empowered to effect real positive physical change in their own community. On opening day, when the playgrounds are ready for use, we hear them say with pride, “I made this.”


The Power of Flourishing Minds

In partnership with The Trust for Public Land (TPL) and PS 15 The Roberto Clemente School campus, Groundswell inspired stewardship of the environment in youth artists through the artistic transform...


We All Share One Sky

In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, Groundswell youth created a mural to serve as a backdrop to a new playground planned for the C.S. 300 Twin Parks campus, which houses C.S. 300, I.S. 1...