Friday, March 6, 2020

Why the playground at P.S. 19 has been closed for community use



We've heard from several readers in recent weeks who've tried to use the playground behind P.S. 19 on First Avenue between 11th Street and 12th Street after school hours. In one case, a custodian told a resident that the space was closed to the public "until further notice."

This playground, featuring a synthetic turf field and painted track, debuted in June 2018 ... and was open to the community after school and on weekends and holidays — just not when in use by P.S. 19 or any of their after-school programs.

Turns out that the school is no longer receiving funds from the Department of Education to cover the costs of staff opening and maintaining the playground during non-school hours and weekends. (Despite the mysterious lack of funding, we're told that custodians were continuing to open the playground in response to "to the community’s love of this space.")

You can learn more about the situation here today from 10 a.m. to noon at the Sirovich Center, 331 E. 12th St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue, where reps for the Trust for Public Land will be on hand. They're collecting signatures in support of funding to keep the playground open for community use.

We'll have more about the situation in another post... along with ways that you can possibly help and have your voice heard about the funding.

Since 1996, the Trust for Public Land has helped revamp 200 playgrounds at New York City public schools through a public-private partnership. Aside from P.S. 19, they've worked on playgrounds in the East Village at P.S. 15 The Roberto Clemente School and the Children’s Workshop School/East Village Community School.

H/T Choresh Wald!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Big surprise.

Anonymous said...

similar situation at playground adjacent to East Village Community School on E 12th between B&C.

Anonymous said...

just when the destruction of east river park is going to create even more demand for the space.

noble neolani said...

As I understand this, the playground is not a city park and therefore does not receive funds from the Parks Department therefore the school custodians who maintain the space for the students of the school now have to "clean up" after the general public if the playground is left open during the evenings and weekends. I can imagine that can be a lot of work since the playground attracts teens, late night weekend bar customers and people who use this as a dog run and can't be bothered to clean up after. It is unlikely that the Parks department will take over a school playground so keeping this playground shut outside of school hours maybe the best solution.

afbp said...

sanctuary city=no funding from SCHLUMP ?

Anonymous said...

This is SO SO SO De Blasio. What a fuck-up.

Anonymous said...

I don't care where I go with my dog I always clean up after him. Always! If you're going to malign and make broad generalizations, at least take a minute or two to acknowledge that you understand that it's only a few who are the bad actors. Same goes for the boogeymen bar-goers you so loath.

Anonymous said...

@1:27pm: I agree with what you've written, but there are ALWAYS going to be bad actors. And sadly, you only need ONE bad actor to ruin it for everyone.

These days, as we readily see, there are many selfish jerks around.

noble neolani said...

1:27 PM
No kidding did I say "all dog owners"? You want me to construct sentence like this "two men got into a fist fight but this does not reflect on all men because most men can control their anger"? Some..... dog owners are just too defensive.

Choresh Wald said...

The original funding agreement between the Trust for Public Land and the city had extra funding for the school custodians to maintain the park as a public space outside of school hours. The city did not allocate the funds in this year’s budget and now this gem of a public space is closed for the community. All weekends it is packed. The beautiful things about this space is that the toddlers are interacting with the dogs that are hanging out with the skaters that gets to connect with the elders from Sirovich Center at the same time when the frat boys are playing basketball by the yoga practitioners. The Saturday morning soccer club, the afternoon free tennis lessons. Endless uses and no fences. That’s the beauty of the PS19 playground.

2nd Avenue Dave said...

This is terrible news. Our family spends so much time there. Gonna get Carolina Rivera on the case.

Anonymous said...

please please please can we make this playground open again? we love it there - a safe place to ride bikes and scooters for the little ones, a lovely garden, great 'lawn' for playing games. we were so happy when this was made available to the community.

Anonymous said...

With this playground closed to the public, and the one at 12th and B shut for renovations, this leaves few neighborhood options besides Tompkins. Stuy town is closed to the public, and while Village View isn't technically public, lots of people go there but the equipment (and sunshine) is lacking. Dry Docks is fine but far east for a lot of people. East River Park also a shlep and who knows how much longer we'll even have that!!

Anonymous said...

The original deal that actually raised the money for the playground renovation included the city funding the maintenance during not school hours. DeBlasio reneged. This is a backstab to pay off a constituency elsewhere in the city. Maybe the first lady's very expensive "mental health" money pit? That has shifted a lot of city cash off the books and into the void.