The Best Garden Warm-up: Color Squares

Five years ago, at the Watershed and Forestry Institute, I was taught a bundle of games that allow for students to engage with their surroundings. I’ve used many of them but one stands out a very frequent Go-To today, and that’s Color Squares. It’s so simple, but I can’t believe how it takes kids from…

Tree Gators for Watering

Our new playgrounds often have around 15-25 new trees planted. The first few years after a tree is newly planted mark the most vulnerable years, so we support watering by equipping each tree with a “Tree Gator” bag. The bag is donut shaped (in my opinion, the bags should be called Tree Donuts!), with a…

What’s Good in My Hood?

The New York Restoration Project has a big activities and resource library on everything from tree planting, windowsill gardens, and plant part experiments which we encourage you to checkout. Since the Trust for Pubic Land loves to center students in their playground design process, we especially love NYRP’s activities for cultivating environmentally literate urban citizens….

Play Equipment Donations!

Could your school or organization benefit from a donation of play equipment? Good Sports provides sports and recreation equipment donations to community organizations and schools in need. Learn more and apply here.

2021 NYC Playgrounds Mini-Grant

Spring is coming! We want to help you celebrate with our Mini-Grant program. You can apply for$200-$1500 in funding to encourage positive use of your yard with a playground event or festival, supplies for outdoor learning or gardening, or a community partner to lead a program for students or the community in your yard.¬† Applications…

City Nature Challenge 2021

Have you ever heard of a bioblitz? It’s a way for scientists, naturalists, and community volunteers to come together for a brief period of time to survey all the bio-diversity in a given area. The interconnectedness allowed by technology allows communities, especially in cities, to collaborate in documenting the natural world like never before. Your…

Schools that Heal: Design with Mental Health in Mind

In this talk, Claire Latan√© covers her research on how we can design outdoor spaces to foster positive mental health outcomes at schools. I love that her first principal is all about fostering a sense of belonging through inclusive, participatory design processes, the cornerstone of the New York City Playgrounds Program. Her second principal encourages…

Looking Towards Spring: Outdoor Learning Toolkit

Last Fall, at some of our NYC Playgrounds sites, we saw schools utilizing their outdoor spaces for the classes that were able to attend in-person learning. You can read on the Trust for Public Land’s blog about one school’s experience in the Two Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan. Ms. Soong used the garden as inspiration for…

The Great (Green) Igloo Build

As you may know, our Green Schoolyards not only offer up NYC kid’s a safe place to play, they also capture hundreds of thousands of gallons of stormwater during rain events…or snow events! During playground design, students designers learn how NYC’s combined sewer system gets overwhelmed on rainy days, and how their playground helps by…

GrowNYC Spring 2021 Grant

During this challenging Winter, it’s a pleasure to look towards Spring. GrowNYC is accepting applications for their garden mini- grant program now through Feb 15th. The grant pairs your school garden with a garden supply store. The grant amount ranges from $500-$2000. This grant could free up funds that NYC Playgrounds Program offers to put…