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Kid Designed Playground

The new park is a $1 million investment in the community through the City Spaces program of The Trust for Public Land made possible by lead private funding from the J.M. Kaplan Fund and a two-to-one funding match by the Department of Education.

A new playground in Brooklyn will offer a safe place for kids to play and honor the memory of a fallen community police officer, and after whom the playground is now named. Officer Hennessy served for eight years at the 70th precinct and died in the line of duty. Students at Brooklyn's P.S. 217, who were also the designers of the new playground, were joined by community members and representatives from The Trust for Public Land (TPL), the New York City Department of Education (DOE), and Flatbush Development Corporation. The new park is made possible by lead private funding from the J.M. Kaplan Fund The P.S. 217 playground is one of 25 community parks being created citywide through a partnership of TPL, the DOE, the School Construction Authority, community sponsors, and private donors.

A team of third- through fifth-grade students, teachers, and parents met for three months to design the one-acre space. They transformed the cracked asphalt lot into a community park that includes basketball courts, an artificial turf field, running track, play equipment, a play spray, and trees. There are nearly 3,000 children under the age of 18 within a quarter-mile of the school. The Trust for Public Land has built 16 successful community parks throughout the city, including four under the recent partnership with the DOE. For more information, visit

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December 7, 2019, 3:51 am PDT

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