For more than 20 years, Pratt Towers – a 326-unit Mitchell-Lama cooperative in Brooklyn managed by FirstService Residential – lacked a proper playground for children. Until now. In June, more than 200 volunteers built a new playground in just one day, replete with slides, rock-climbing walls, benches and a garden.
While construction took just under seven hours, the project was eight years in the making. “We appreciate the energy and enthusiasm the shareholders, the volunteers, the Pratt Towers Board of Directors and the FirstService Residential management team devoted in helping to bring this playground to fruition,” says Christine Powell, a founding member of the Pratt Towers Community Space Committee (PTCS), whose mission is to revitalize a dormant, unsafe outdoor area into a year-round, environmentally sustainable, multi-purpose intergenerational space.
The FirstService Residential management team, headed by Denise Clarke, Director of the Mitchell Lama Division, completed applications, secured additional insurance, and helped solicit donations. “We are overjoyed to have contributed to achieving this fabulous play space for the more than100 children that call Pratt Towers their home,” says Clarke. “This is a tremendous achievement towards improving the quality of life for our residents and providing the children with a safe place to be active.”
Some of the design ideas for the playground were based on drawings devised by children from the building during a special Design Day event in March. Through the work of PTCS, Pratt Towers contributed a small percentage of the cost and will be responsible for maintenance and upkeep. Additional partnership support was provided by developer Forest City Ratner Companies and KaBOOM!, a national non-profit organization dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids.