Quality of Life

Public Parks

The foundation is invested in creating and maintaining and public gardens in New York City. It has 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 109th 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.