Brownsville Playground

The Daily Plant : Monday, July 14, 2008

The Land Of Pure Imagination

Child with play equipment
Photo by Daniel Avila

The wise philosopher, Willy Wonka, once said, “There is no life I know to compare with pure imagination.” Now, with physical improvements to Brownsville Playground and the addition of the Rockwell Group’s mobile Imagination Playground in a BOX, children’s imaginations can expand all summer long.

On July 9, Parks cut the ribbon on $1.5 million in improvements to Brownsville Playground and its adjacent athletic field. The ribbon cutting ceremony was part of a larger event with David Rockwell and KaBOOM! Chief Executive Officer Darell Hammond to unveil the Rockwell Group’s mobile Imagination Playground in a BOX.

“Today marks a new day for play in Brownsville, and for parks in New York City and around the world,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Thanks to generous funding allocations from Council Member Charles Barron and Mayor Bloomberg, the youth of this community have a brand new turf field for athletics as well as a revitalized playground. With David Rockwell’s Imagination Playground in a BOX on site until Labor Day, with help from KaBOOM!, children in Brownsville can spend the summer exercising their minds as well as their bodies, while trying out an unprecedented way to bring a playground to life.”

The athletic field was converted from asphalt to synthetic turf for softball, soccer, and football. Additional improvements include new fencing, backstops, benches, and drinking fountains. Funding for the $1.3 million project was allocated by Council Member Barron, who provided $888,000, with additional funds from the Mayor’s office. The second phase of the renovation will install state-of-the-art recreational lights for nighttime play. Council Member Barron has allocated $1.3 million for that project.

The playground at Brownsville Recreation Center has also been reconstructed with new play equipment, a spray shower, a drinking fountain, landscaping, basketball courts and a sitting area. Funding for the $400,000 playground project was provided by the Mayor’s office.

In addition to the playground and athletic field, Imagination Playground in a BOX will reside at the Brownsville site through Labor Day. David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group conceived Imagination Playground around the concept of unstructured, child directed “free play,” where children determine their own activities, alone and with their peers.

The Rockwell Group has worked closely with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation to create the permanent flagship site at Burling Slip in lower Manhattan. The play advocacy group KaBOOM! joined forces with Rockwell Group and the City to bring the signature aspects of Imagination Playground to Brownsville with Imagination Playground in a BOX.


“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

Richard Feynman
(1918 - 1988)

Directions to Brownsville Playground

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Recreation CentersBrownsville Recreation Center

The indoor pool at Brownsville Recreation Center will be closed until further notice due to emergency maintenance.

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