Bernard Family Playground

Project Progress

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Complete June 2018

Our reconstruction of Bernard Family Playground introduced new and enhanced play features and met current accessibility and safety standards.

Bernard Family Playground, just east of the Harlem Meer, was built in the 1930s. The Conservancy reconstructed the playground in 1991 as part of the comprehensive restoration of the Harlem Meer landscape. The smallest of the Park’s playgrounds, it comprises three interconnected sections that function as independent play areas. Park-facing benches line all three spaces. The playground’s manageable size is conducive to the needs of small children and their caregivers.

The scope of this renovation included:

  • Reconfiguring the swing area and replacing existing swings to comply with current safety standards
  • Replacing the existing post-and-platform climber
  • Introducing a new sandbox that incorporates an accessible sand table and water source for additional play value
  • Constructing a user-active water spray feature that is interactive and conserves water
  • Adding enhanced plantings

This project is part of the Conservancy’s effort to guide the continued stewardship of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, as outlined in Plan for Play: A Framework for Rebuilding and Managing Central Park’s Playgrounds.

Left to right: Playground before reconstruction; water feature before reconstruction; water feature after reconstruction
  • Our Process

    Restoring Central Park is a collaborative effort. Our team of historians, planners, landscape architects, and architects work in partnership with the public to preserve the Park’s original ideals while enhancing the experience for today’s visitors.

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