The city on July 23 broke ground on a new playground at a Park Slope elementary school that will improve the lives of local youngsters — and the condition of the nearby noxious Gowanus Canal, according to the lawmaker who allocated taxpayers’ dollars to help fund it.
“Not only will this playground provide a new place for kids from the school and community, its green infrastructure will improve the health of the Gowanus Canal,” said Park Slope and Gowanus Councilman Brad Lander, who set aside $250,000 for the project.
The new play space, which will replace an aging patch of blacktop along Berkeley Place behind Sixth Avenue’s PS 282, will feature a synthetic-turf field on top of a special drainage system capable of absorbing one-million gallons of rainwater each year that would otherwise fill up the city’s sewage pipes, forcing overflow into the nearby canal — which the federal Environmental Protection Administration designated a Superfund site in 2010, and began purging of toxins six years later in a project that calls for burying two massive tanks along its banks that will hold future feces-tainted wet stuff when installed.
The drainage system consists of crushed rocks and perforated pipes that allow water that sinks through the turf to seep into the surrounding ground, according to the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, which allocated $350,000 in taxpayer dollars to foot the rest of the project’s bill.
And above the eco-friendly infrastructure, workers will install a running track, benches, and a spray fountain in addition to the turf pitch, as well as trees and a basketball court that is designed to funnel rainwater toward the spongy artificial grass, according to the Environmental Protection Department, whose leaders expect the playground to open before the end of the year.