East Flatbush Children's Playground
East Flatbush Children’s Playground
This playground is named for the East Flatbush community, and for the Dutch colonial settlement of Flatbush, founded in 1652 as one of the six original towns of Brooklyn. The name comes from the Dutch word vlackebos, meaning “wooded plain.” Farmland dominated the area until the 1920s, when the Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) lines created a crucial link between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Present day East Flatbush consists of several smaller neighborhoods such as Remsen Village, Rugby, Wingate, Farragut, and Erasmus.
Playgrounds gained prominence as a public facility during the first half of the 20th century. From 1865 to 1895, the City's population more than doubled. As thousands of new immigrants moved into already overcrowded tenement districts, the streets teemed with children, many of whom worked long hours in factories. With the enactment of the first child labor laws at the turn of the century, leading reformers in New York City lobbied for the creation of a new kind of small park for children—the playground.
The earliest playgrounds, called "sand gardens," appeared in the 1880s on the grounds of settlement houses. Furnished with innovative play equipment like see-saws, and staffed by trained recreation specialists, the playground was designed to be a "healthful influence upon morals and conduct."
NYC Parks acquired this property from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in 1997. East Flatbush Children’s Playground, located on East 94th Street between Rutland Road and East New York Avenue, is a small play area with a grass lawn and a path leading to colorful play equipment with safety surfacing.