The “Schoolyard to Playground” conversions are part of a PlaNYC, a long-term sustainability agenda launched in 2002, initiative to provide playgrounds within a 10-minute walk of all city households.
Under PlaNYC, Bloomberg’s office, in collaboration with the Parks Department and other city agencies, identified public schoolyards that could be renovated for year-round public use.
“In a time of tight budgets,” Bloomberg said in a statement, “our schoolyards represent a great opportunity for transforming existing, underused resources into something we can all enjoy.”
Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative is investing $87.6 million to convert schoolyards into playgrounds, according to his office.
Under the program, 700 acres of new parkland have been created and 134 acres of schoolyards were converted. According to Bloomberg’s office, 71 percent of New Yorkers currently live within a 10-minute walk of an open space.
“Active play and recreation are not only for having fun, but play a crucial role in child development and fitness,” said Parks Commissioner Adrien Benepe. “Thanks to our program, we have been able to create more spaces for children to play by improving schoolyards and keeping them open outside of school hours.”