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Central Park Conservancy

We are invested in creating and maintaining public parks and gardens in New York City and have the distinction of having underwritten playgrounds at the most northern, southern, eastern, and western reaches of the Central Park Conservancy’s Stewardship. These include the completion of the northernmost playground in Central Park, at 110th Street; the 1926 Heckscher Ball Fields and Heckscher Playground at the southernmost part of Central Park; the West 72nd Street Ball Field, located under the West Side Highway and next to the Hudson River, in addition to other West Side playgrounds in Central Park; and the Ruth and Arthur Smadbeck Heckscher East Playground, one of the most heavily-used and distinctive features on the eastern side of Central Park. That playground’s focal point is the sculpture titled “Group of Bears,” often called “Three Bears,” by renowned artist Paul Manship.

The Central Park Conservancy has collaborated with The Heckscher Foundation for Children for over 40 years on major projects in Central Park which have benefitted countless numbers of New York City children and families. Central Park’s playgrounds attract over 3 million children annually and are an important element of the Park’s program. Our new playground collaboration on the west side of the Park near the Seneca Village site, will be the fourth playground project funded by the Foundation, and an important addition to our body of work in the Park over the next several years.
Betsy Smith
President and CEO, Central Park Conservancy