FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 18, 2020
Contact: Megan Douglas, email@example.com, 347-580-2772
New Yorkers for Parks to City: Make Playground Reopening Part of Phase 2 on Monday, June 22, or Sooner
“New Yorkers have had it” -- With Playgrounds Shuttered, Too Many NYC Residents Lack Access to Open Space
New York, NY - New Yorkers for Parks the citywide advocate for parks and open spaces, released the following statement from Executive Director Adam Ganser, calling on the City to find a safe way to reopen playgrounds as part of Phase 2 on Monday, June 22 or sooner:
“New Yorkers have clearly had it. Most have been stuck at home for three months and they are demanding access to as much outdoor space as possible. In too many neighborhoods – especially low-income neighborhoods far from New York’s marquee parks – playgrounds provide the only source of open space. Furthermore, the Parks Department has also shuttered wide open spaces that are part of a playground complex, making the availability of open space even less equitable.
“Other municipalities have figured out how to open playgrounds and New York City must do the same, giving people a place to play and relax and do so safely.
“Children already lack access to exercise provided through schools. With summer camps and pools shuttered, for now, they need more outdoor recreation spaces and places to cool off in the heat of the summer. Opening playgrounds is a physical and mental health imperative for kids, and, in many neighborhoods, they also provide crucial spaces for adults to work out and relax.
“We recognize that reducing COVID-19 infections is the state and city’s first order of priority. But those efforts need to be balanced against residents' other health needs. We believe the city could develop creative ways to ensure cleanliness and safety, while opening playgrounds up. We urge them to do it.”
NY4P is also urging the City to continue to invest in parks through the organization's #PlayFair campaign, run in partnership with a 286-member coalition. "Now is not the time to cut back on maintenance or safety services."
About New Yorkers for Parks:
For over 100 years New Yorkers for Parks has been the independent champion for quality parks and open space for all New Yorkers. Through our research, advocacy, and the Daffodil Project, we work with communities and elected officials to promote and preserve quality open space across the city. We are a founding member of Play Fair, a multi-year campaign to protect and create jobs, and ensure open spaces receive essential maintenance and care, particularly in light of the increased use of parks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more: www.ny4p.org or www.playfair.nyc