Completed in 2003, this two-acre park includes a track, basketball court, grass playing field, swings and play equipment that is available to students and the community.
Parks for People Program
This playground is a project of TPL.s Parks for People program, which strives to create vibrant community parks in low-income neighborhoods. TPL launched its Newark program in 1995 as a response to the overwhelming need for additional safe playgrounds in the underprivileged communities of New Jersey's largest city.
Identifying a Need
The children of Newark are a particularly underserved population; one in three of Newark's 76,000 children live in poverty and more than 50 percent of Newark children under age 18 do not live within one quarter-mile of a usable park. In addition, an overwhelming majority of Newark's children attend schools with asphalt playgrounds where parking often takes priority over outdoor recreation.
A Formula for Success
TPL's Parks for People.Newark program provides safe, clean, healthy, outdoor play spaces for children and families in Newark through a partnership with the Newark Public Schools, the City of Newark, and local community groups. Active in the city since 1995, TPL has created six new playgrounds and redeveloped the 3.3-acre Mildred Helms Park. Parks for People-Newark targets low-income, high-density neighborhoods, which typically suffer disproportionately from a lack of safe, accessible parkland.
Parks for People-Newark sites include:
* Amenities ranging from swings and slides to basketball courts and ball fields
* Play features designed by the kids who will use them
* Green landscapes and natural features tailored to each site
* Access for the entire community when school is out
* Effective stewardship provided by community partners, the city, and schools
TPL believes that it is essential to involve project stakeholders in every phase of the development, maintenance, and programming of community parks and playgrounds. TPL makes an effort to engage the community and public partners long before the formal design process begins, and extend their involvement beyond the completion of construction to ensure good maintenance practices and strong recreational programs.
TPL engages students, parents, teachers, city and school administrators, neighborhood volunteers, and other community representatives to address three stewardship components:
* Ongoing maintenance of completed sites
* Programming activities and events for children and families
* Safety concerns in parks and playgrounds
Parks for People-Newark is seeking gifts to reach its $8.7 million goal to build parks and playgrounds in Newark. The Trust for Public Land has already raised $4.5 million to date ($3 million in public funding and $1.5 in private funding). To reach the $8.7 million goal, TPL is embarking on a campaign to raise an additional $2.2 million from public sources and $2 million from foundations, corporations, and individuals.
About Trust for Public Land
TPL is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving land for people to enjoy as parks and open space. Since 1972, TPL has conserved over two million acres of land nationwide.