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New Lillian Wald Playground Opens on East Houston Street

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Politicos and community activists came together this morning to celebrate the opening of the refurbished Lillian Wald Playground on East Houston Street, near FDR Drive. 

Among those taking part in the ribbon cutting: Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Councilmember Rosie Mendez, State Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Community Board 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer and Borough President Scott Stringer.

The playground, located at P.S. 188, was improved using $1.2 million in capital funding from Mendez.  The ADA-accessible playground features all new play equipment, a spray shower, sports activities, benches, game tables, picnic tables and enhanced lighting.

Lillian Wald founded Henry Street Settlement and is credited with establishing visiting nursing in this country.  According to a Parks Department press release, “the large play unit’s roofs are modeled after Lower East Side tenement cornices to recognize those visiting nurses who used to jump from rooftop to rooftop so they could provide health services more rapidly.  There is also a custom stethoscope balance beam and nurse’s cross climber.”

The renovation was inspired by Alfredo Citron, a P.S. 188 parent coordinator.  Back in 2005, he approached the Community Education Council and Community Board 3. CB3 made funding for the playground a priority in its annual “district needs statement.”

While the playground is located at the school, it is open to the general public.

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