New Playground at Sussex Ave Renew School
12/04/2014 - 04:15 AM | by Newark Pulse

New Playground at Sussex Ave Renew School

Last week there was a ribbon cutting for a redeveloped schoolyard at Sussex Avenue Renew School"”previously an unimproved asphalt area. The space now features an outdoor classroom, two playgrounds (one for early childhood classes and another for ages 5 to 12), a water play spray feature for the summer months, and numerous green features that help make the neighborhood more sustainable. The green features include planting areas with trees and other vegetation; two garden areas for the students; porous safety surface in the play areas that allows rain to percolate into the ground. There is also a rain garden and water capture system under an artificial turf field that collect storm run off on rainy days and store it for slow release afterwards, thereby reducing the impact on Newark's combined stormwater sewer system. These elements together are designed to capture the first 1.25 inches of rain that falls on the site in any rain storm.

Funding needed to turn the asphalt schoolyard in Newark's Central Ward into a state-of-the-art green playground was secured jointly by The Trust for Public Land and Congregation Ahavas Sholom over the past several years. Both organizations are committed to improving public schoolyards and parks in Newark, but the Sussex Avenue Renew School Playground marks the first time they have worked together to create a unique place for Newark children to play and learn (open to the public).

Lead support for the project came from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Green Acres Program and the City of Newark's Community Development Block Grant Program. Other supporters of the project include: The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the NY/NJ Snowflake Youth Foundation, an initiative of the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee, The Prudential Foundation, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Victoria Foundation, Helen & William Mazer Foundation, Gibson Family Foundation, CTW Foundation, John A. & Margaret Post Foundation, PSEG Foundation, Wallerstein Foundation for Geriatric Life Improvement, Hyde & Watson Foundation, Landsberger Foundation, and other private donors.

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