Updated 04/29/2010 02:10 PM
Students Celebrate New Bronx Playground
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Students from P.S. 47 are celebrating the new community playground they helped create.
The playground in Parkchester was developed with the help of the New York Trust for Public Land and the city, as part of the mayor's PlaNYC initiative.
The renovated space features the playground, basketball courts, a track, turf athletic field, and a stage for dancing and musical performances.
"I think it's incredible," said fifth grader Maria Molina. "Before it was just concrete and dumpsters and now look at this place! It's incredible."
"Now we have this beautiful mural and it doesn't have graffiti," said fourth grader Ornili Aboab.
The city and Trust for Public Land have already helped to turn 41 other nearly-vacant lots in the city into playgrounds with the goal of completing 256 new schoolyard parks across the five boroughs.
"P.S. 47 playground was chosen by the Trust for Public Land because it is in a neighborhood that is in desperate need for open space," said Mary Alice Lee of the non-profit organization.
It cost $1 million to transform a former asphalt to a design dreamed up by students, who say they couldn’t be happier with the results.
"I think it's awesome,” said fourth grader Karon Sease.
Kids will not only be playing in the schoolyard, but also learning in it; a garden was planted in the space on Earth Day.
However, the principal stressed the importance of play in the school day.
"Play is really essential to developing their minds," said P.S. 47 Principal Thomas Guarnieri.
The schoolyard will be open to neighborhood residents when there are no school activities going on.
"It's beautiful,” said Alex McCaskey, whose son is a student at P.S. 47. “From what it was, this is great."
"To be here, to see this, it is a wonderful thing,” said parent Sharon McCaskey.
Students who helped design it said they hope it stays wonderful.
"I would really like to keep this playground clean because we have these trash cans and these recycle bins, so there is no reason to litter,” said Aboab.
But, there are plenty of reasons to come here and have some fun.