New $18.3M sustainable playground opens at the Battery

December 20, 2021

Image courtesy of Diane Bondareff/AP Images for The Battery Conservancy

One of New York City’s largest sustainable parks officially opened last week. Following a 25-year initiative, the Battery Conservancy on Thursday opened the Battery Playscape, a 1.5-acre playground that triples the size of the former park and aims to reinforce sustainable practices in its users through its eco-friendly design and features.

The $18.3 million project is located within the northeast corner of The Battery with entrances on State and South Street. Designed by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners, the Battery Playscape is resilient against floods, which devastated the area during Hurricane Sandy. The park’s features aim to be accessible to users of all ages, regardless of their capabilities.

A major goal of the park’s design is to teach children about environmental awareness. The park is divided into five zones, each of which correlates to a different ecological biome. “Bluff” keeps kids active with five granite slides, while “Marsh” allows them to climb and view the surrounding city and water from the height of seven tree houses.

“Riverbed” reimagines the traditional sandbox, giving a space for users to play with sand and water and discover creatures that lie beneath. It utilizes a key aspect of the park’s design, verdant bioswales. According to The Battery, “even on dry days, the swales are activated by runoff from the Riverbed’s water play. In rainy weather, runoff hydrates native plantings as it percolates into the soil.”

“Dune” features ShowBox– the first theater in a New York City playground–designed by Cheryl Henson of the Jim Henson Foundation and MacArthur Fellow Basil Twist. Kids can use the zone’s nine-foot climbing wall, which has a space for younger kids to scale a set of steps.

And “Meadow” enriches users with its wildlife and lush, diverse greenery that uses perennial planting.

The park is located near the 4/5, 1, and R/W subway lines, and right across from the Staten Island Ferry.


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