Larger, resilient playground has groundbreaking in The Battery in Lower Manhattan

DA4_7902_031220 Battery Playscape GB
Officials and community members at the Battery Playscape groundbreaking. (Photos: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila)

Officials broke ground Thursday in The Battery on a new playground that will triple the size of the previous playground and include sustainable features.

The 1.5-acre Battery Playscape is an $18.3 million project, located at the east end of The Battery. It’s the final part of a larger project to transform the Battery, called The Battery Masterplan, which spans the 25 acres of the Lower Manhattan space at a price of $163 million.

The new Playscape’s design will mimic five geographical zones related to how water shapes land, including Bluff, Marsh, Dune, Meadow and Riverbed. Each space will have distinct play elements and equipment, including big granite slides, connected playhouses with multiple levels, an ADA accessible treehouse and an improv/puppet theater called the “ShowBox Theater.”

Officials at the March 12 event included NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, The Battery Conservancy President and founder Warrie Price, Manhattan Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington and City Council Member Margaret Chin.

“Through its creative and sustainable design, the Battery Playscape will transform our vibrant Lower Manhattan ecosystem into a living and breathing classroom for students and families,” said Chin. “When working in harmony with the surrounding natural environment, New York City’s open spaces serve as a hub of scientific curiosity, independent thinking, and self-discovery for our young people, and I have no doubt that the Playscape’s unique elements – from an accessible tree house and simulated geographical zones – will tap into the imagination of a whole generation of future climate change activists.”

Council Member Margaret Chin speaking at the event.

Community Board 1 Chair Anthony Notaro said the playground would be a valuable addition to a growing neighborhood. “Since 9/11, Community District 1 has tripled its residential population and now has lots of families. So to have this treasure in our community is fantastic,” said Notaro.

The expanded playground will be for children of all ages, and the project includes adding more plants for greater biodiversity. Funding for the project included $9 million from Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, an MTA grant of $7.65 million, and additional funding from officials including $800,000 from Mayor de Blasio, $500,000 from Council Member Chin and $350,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.

“We are excited to begin construction on a unique nature-driven playground that marks the culmination of our 25-year campaign to revitalize and transform the historic Battery into a world renowned cultural destination,” said Warrie Price of The Battery Conservancy. “The Battery Playscape can change the way playgrounds are built and redefine their impact, transforming climate challenges into opportunities for creative play, learning, and the cultivation of the next generation of environmental stewards.”