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P.S. 111 Asphalt Court Transforms Into $1.3M Kid-Designed Green Playground

HELL'S KITCHEN — An asphalt court behind P.S. 111 on West 53rd Street has gone green thanks to a student-designed nearly $1.3 million renovation.

The schoolyard now has a turf field, track, outdoor ping-pong tables, forest walk, rain garden, outdoor classroom, gazebo, and chess and checker tables. Students consulted with the playground designers for more than three months to create the plan.

The playground's green design will also serve to divert 700,000 gallons of storm water runoff from the sewers, according to a statement.

This prevents untreated sewer water from ending up in the Hudson during floods, according to The Trust for Public Land, which spearheaded the effort.

The organization has already built six such playgrounds in the city, five in Brooklyn and one in Queens. They are planning three more near the Jamaica Bay, Newtown Creek and Gowanus Canal watersheds.

The Trust works to add parkland to low-income areas. Of the 600 students attending P.S. 111, 75 percent are living in poverty.

The renovation was paid for with a combination of private charity and public funds.