New York

Students Design a Perfect Playground of Their Own

New Playground Designed with Kids

At Public School 181 in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn forty students joined together with playground designers from a non-profit organization, Trust for Public Land to create the first playground their school ever had.

Parking Lot Transformed

The playground was installed in what was formerly a parking lot at the school which is located on New York Avenue in April, using the kids own blueprint.

“It turned out to be exactly what we wanted,” said one of the student collaborators on the project, 13-year-old Peter Bonner.

Planned During and After School

The cost of the new playground was one million dollars, and is situated on an acre of land. The plans for the new park were discussed during lunch period and after classes during the last half of last year’s school year. The designers were happy to hear the students’ ideas about what would excite them in a new playground.

Kids Have Great Ideas

The students were able to come up with some pretty cool ideas about what would make their new playground useful and fun: some wanted a stage for performances, so an amphitheater with a 30-seat capacity was built; others wanted a jungle gym, and that was added as well.

A request was made for a field for football, running and tumbling without having to suffer the scrapes and bruises that concrete causes on soft, young arms and legs.

Scale Paper Model on Display

The kids and designers made a model of the park out of paper which can now be viewed by the public after school hours.

“All the students involved made great contributions, and it gives them a great sense of pride,” said Principal Lowell Coleman.

“It’s the Best Park, Ever”

Everything the kids asked for in their park was granted, and now the kids feel really great about what they achieved.

“Everything about the place is special,” said Chelsea McFarlane, 12, a seventh grader from East Flatbush.

“It’s best park in the neighborhood – we’re all proud of it,” she added.


Shari has certainly been around the block. As a teacher, writer, former CEO and present day master chef, Shari can cover a human interest story with a flare and style hard to match anywhere. Born and raised in the streets, schools and institutions of Brooklyn, Shari is the epitome of Brooklyn life. Contact Shari at shari(at)