March 11, 2020

Battery Playscape Featured in the Wall Street Journal

Battery Playscape, the climate-change resilient playground we are designing in the Battery in collaboration with Starr Whitehouse and the Battery Conservancy is featured in the Wall Street Journal- New Playground in Manhattan’s Battery Will Be Climate-Change Resilient.

Full article below by Amber Burton.

Construction workers work on excavation of the bluffs for a new playground in Battery Park.

The conservancy that oversees the Battery in Lower Manhattan will break ground on one of the largest climate-change-resilient playgrounds in New York City on Thursday.

The goal for the new $18.3 million playground, which is being called the “Battery Playscape,” is to be one of the most green and sustainable parks in New York City, according to Battery Conservancy officials.

The 1.5-acre playground will be built within the 25-acre Battery Park, which is located in a flood zone at the southern tip of Manhattan.

In 2012 Superstorm Sandy flooded and damaged a previous playground and other parts of the Battery. After the flooding, the playground was leveled, but later restored. However, the conservancy wanted a new play space that could stand up to heavy rains and storms.

“It will be a model for waterfront parks, a way to embrace resilient design and adapt to climate change,” New York City Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver said of the playground.

Visitors from Chicago ride the Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park.

The Parks Department plans to use the resiliency designs for the Battery play space on playgrounds around the city, including East River Park, which will soon be renovated, Mr. Silver said.

Federal and city funds are paying for the Battery Playscape. It is expected to open in spring 2021.

The playground will be divided into five geographic zones for children to play: the bluff, marsh, dune, riverbed and meadow. Many of its features will be built above sea level. Underground basins will take on excess water, preventing flooding into the city’s sewer system. All of the plants for the playground were also chosen to resist erosion.

Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price said that the best time for children to visit the play space will be after rainfall, as many of the playground’s features will absorb or recycle the water for the children’s water-play area.

The playground’s design team also chose flood-resistant materials like granite and stone, and most of the surface of the park is permeable. Ms. Price said the new playground will be able to withstand future storms.

“What we’ve built is going to be able to recover,” she said.