mobile play:ground, an exciting new project conceived of by the nonprofit play:groundNYC, will introduce play with loose parts to broad cross-sections of district 39. We will do this by animating local parks, playgrounds and community gardens through a mobile play unit. This vehicle will be designed and well stocked with tools, recycled and found materials, cardboard and other loose parts for fun, self-directed play. The unit will also serve as a learning hub and our trained playworkers will travel with the mobile residencies. Each site will serve as a test-bed for identifying a possible location for a rooted community adventure playground. We strongly believe that district 39 needs a new playground. Brooklyn is the most underserved borough when it comes to playground provision, with only eight playgrounds for every 10,000 children under the age of ten years old. Adventure playgrounds, as our successful programs show, are greener, less expensive to build and more fun than conventional fixed structure playgrounds.
We propose to work with schools, community groups and parents in the district to identify the optimum locations for our mobile play unit to visit, and will plan site-responsive short term residencies that support independent, child-led play. We envisage mobile play:ground fostering civic participation in the stewardship of the city’s neighborhood parks, playgrounds and community gardens; providing opportunities for young people to not only interact with and experience public space, but help create and design it.
By funding mobile play:ground: a model of intergenerational play – encouraging parents, residents, educators, young adults and the elderly to train as playworkers in their own communities – we will provide space for youth recreation and adult engagement in the process, while raising awareness of the benefits of self-directed play. Mobile play:ground will allow us, as part of a broad consortium of community leaders, to take steps in identifying and siting permanent adaptive reuse space for new adventure playground(s) for the district, reclaimed and built by and for all the city’s children.
play:groundNYC advocate for young people’s rights by providing playworker run environments that encourage risk taking and experimentation through self-directed play. We operate The Yard, New York City’s only adventure playground on Governors Island, and work with communities across the city to establish their own neighborhood playgrounds and play initiatives. www.play-ground.nyc