FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 16, 2021
NYC PARKS AND THE BATTERY CONSERVANCY CELEBRATE THE OPENING OF THE INNOVATIVE NEW BATTERY PLAYSCAPE
NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff and The Battery Conservancy President Warrie Price joined Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Chair Holly Leicht, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board 1 Chair Tammy Meltzer, and community members to open the highly anticipated 1.5-acre Battery Playscape. The project marks the final major construction milestone in the 25+ year history of Conservancy’s work to revitalize The Battery.
"The Playscape will serve as a model for imaginative play and resilient design for years to come. From water-absorbent bioswales to a gorgeous puppet theater, this playground is truly different from any other in New York City," said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. "As the final piece of The Battery Master Plan, this 1.5-acre playground completes the decades-long process of revitalizing this historic site. We thank the Conservancy for their leadership in reimagining this playground and establishing The Battery as a thriving waterfront park and a destination for New Yorkers and tourists from around the world."
Battery Playscape was imagined post-Superstorm Sandy and serves as a global exemplar for playgrounds located in flood-prone areas. It features five ecological zones, each inspired by topography created by water shaping the land: Bluff with five granite slides; Riverbed and Marsh with vast salt-tolerant gardens, elevated tree houses, and sand/water play; and Dune and Meadow presenting ShowBox, the first improv/puppet theater in an NYC playground. "We immerse children into the natural wonders formed by plants, trees, sand, and ancient stone while building an understanding of accommodating climate" stated Warrie Price, President and Founder of The Battery Conservancy.
Designed by BKSK Architects and Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects and Planners with custom fabrication by Maglin, the new Playscape triples the size of the former Battery playground and accounts for sea level rise, transforming climate challenges into creative play and learning opportunities. The design received a 2020 Merit Award from the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA-NY). The current space accounts for the growing number of Lower Manhattan families, expanding elementary schools, and the increase in visitation by children from all five boroughs, as well as visitors to New York's iconic destination.
The $18.3 million project was funded by $9 million from Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a $7.65 million MTA grant, $800,000 from Mayor Bill de Blasio, $500,000 from City Council Member Margaret Chin, and $350,000 from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
The Battery Conservancy was created in 1994 as a not-for-profit educational corporation to rebuild and revitalize The Battery and its major landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument. The Conservancy spearheads this dramatic transformation in partnership with City, State and Federal governments and with individuals, corporations, and foundations in the private sector. Visited by 15 million people each year, The Battery remains one of the oldest public spaces in continuous use in New York City. The Conservancy honors and preserves its heritage by rebuilding the park with sustainable design and ecological practices while respecting and interpreting its rich history. The landscape design protects the natural environment while meeting the needs of a growing residential population, crowds of bustling commuters, and the millions of visitors who come to see the Statue of Liberty and experience New York Harbor. For more information, visit www.thebattery.org.