New Disney Playground and 103rd Street Community Garden Restoration

By: Tahnia Belle

On May 19th, as part of the ongoing restoration of the 103rd Street Community Garden, about 200 community volunteers, New York Restoration Project (NYRP) staff, Disney VoluntEARS and KaBOOM! organizers came together to build a playground and children’s garden.

Volunteers Bringing in the Greenery

One of the notable aspects of this collaboration project is that not only was community input requested earlier this year in February, but the children of East Harlem helped to design the playground. The East Harlem youngsters that participated in a March 2011 Design Day event were able to share their dreams of the perfect playground and their collective vision was used as the foundation of the design.

Anxiously waiting out the previous three days of heavy rain, the volunteers worked in the mud, mixing concrete, constructing picnic tables, and spreading mulch in the spirit of community. In less than 8 hours, the group successfully installed the kid inspired playground that will serve over 1,000 children in East Harlem. The installation of the playground and children’s garden is phase one of 103rd Street Community Garden restoration project scheduled to be unveiled late summer 2011.

Before (8:30 AM - West Side of Playground)

Before (8:30 AM - East Side of the Playground)

Work in Progress (11:30 AM - West Side of the Playground)

Work in Progress (11:30 AM - East Side of the Playground)

After (3:00 PM - Aerial View of Playground and Volunteers)

For further information on the restoration of the 103rd Street Community Garden or on other NYRP community garden projects in New York City including more parks in Harlem, please visit:

103rd Street Community Garden

105 East 103rd Street

New York, NY, 10029