Just Opened: A Natural Playground in Prospect Park


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Prospect Park’s newest playground doesn’t have swings, slides or a jungle gym, but your kids won’t miss the traditional equipiment. Instead, this playground offers plenty of good ol’ fashioned play-in-the-woods kind of fun. The just opened, Donald and Barbara Zucker Natural Exploration Area is a unique park play space filled with recycled logs to climb, paths to explore, sand to sift and even a water feature. Click through the following slideshow to see highlights of the innovative Prospect Park Natural Playground.

What’s the Story Behind Prospect Park’s Natural Playground?

Last October, when Hurricane Sandy whipped through New York City, it took down more than 500 trees and 1,000 branches in Prospect Park. Now a year later, some of those damaged trees have new life as part of the Zucker Natural Exploration Area. Materials found throughout the Park were also used to create this playground along with additional recycled trees that were damaged in other recent storms.

Now a little history – Prospect Park’s northeast region, which also houses the Zoo, Carousel and Lefferts Historic House, was originally named “The Children’s Playground” by Park co-designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. They wanted this part of the Park to be primarily for kids, yet a playground was missing. Now, kids have a beautiful and unique place to play.

— Julie Seguss

All photos by Julie Seguss

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