The Central Park Conservancy has reopened Bernard Family Playground after completing a reconstruction that introduced new and enhanced play features, new benches and landscaping, and updates that meet current accessibility and safety standards.
The rebuilt playground features a user-activated water spray feature, a sandbox with an accessible sand table and water source, and all new play equipment and site furnishings. As part of the project, the Conservancy enlarged and rotated the swing area to comply with current safety standards and take advantage of views of the Harlem Meer and enhanced plantings in the landscape surrounding the playground.
“We are pleased to welcome children and their caregivers to the newly rebuilt Bernard Family Playground,” said Lane Addonizio, Vice President for Planning at the Central Park Conservancy. “Families who loved this little playground before will find it’s the same, only better: still an ideal play space for pre-school aged children in an idyllic setting across from the Harlem Meer — enhanced and updated for the next generation of preschoolers to enjoy.”
Located on the east side of the Harlem Meer, the original playground in this location was built in the 1930s. The Conservancy reconstructed it as Bernard Family Playground in 1991 in connection with a comprehensive restoration of the Harlem Meer landscape. This latest overhaul is part of the Conservancy’s current initiative for the continued stewardship of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds.
This project was generously supported by private donors as part of Forever Green, the Central Park Conservancy’s $300 million campaign launched in 2016 to restore and preserve the historic vision for Central Park. This is the 13th of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds to be rebuilt by the Conservancy.