Fundraiser launched for Pier 26 science playground

The Hudson River Park Friends, the fundraising arm of the park, just started a campaign to build a science playground on the highway side of Pier 26, the space that is currently a dirt lot between piers 25 and 26. The goal is $600,000 and you can contribute here.

That section of the park has been set aside for an “estuarium” — a building and play area dedicated to the study of the tidal estuary that is the our stretch of teh Hudson River. There will be a building that will serve as both museum and classroom, but just next to it is the 4000-square-foot play area. It is being designed by the same landscape architects that did the pier — OLIN — and construction will begin in 2022.

Tribecan Mike Novogratz, who raised his kids just a couple blocks from the pier, has pledged a challenge match of $1.3 million with a deadline of Oct. 7. City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, who represents Chelsea, put in $1 million from the city’s capital budget already. The overall goal was $3.5 million, and the Friends has already raised nearly $3 million.

The official name is the Pier 26 Science Play Area and the plan now is to feature play structures in the shape of giant sturgeons, along with climbing nets, water features and other play equipment.



  1. I had to google sturgeons. Ha. Play encouraging science is always welcome.

  2. The Estuarium of Heroes?
    The Pier 26 Science Play Area of Heroes?
    The Sturgeon General?

  3. How to get the architect to include many more trees in the design? Are the fish made of metal? Will that be bearable in the middle of the summer?

  4. Do we really need yet another kids park? How about something that every Tribeca resident can enjoy equally?

  5. It’s wonderful to have this financial support for the playground. It would be even better if enough money could be raised for the actual Estuarium.

    The Estuarium is intended to be the permanent home of the Hudson River Park River Project Wetlab, which has been connecting children and adults to the river for decades, conducting scientific research about our wondrous Hudson River and providing hands-on education and programming about the estuary and its myriad inhabitants for people of all ages.

    The Wetlab is currently and temporarily on Pier 40. It will have to move when Pier 40 is redone. The vision has long been for the permanent building to be returned to Pier 26, where The River Project was originally established in 1986. But the Hudson River Park Trust has not been able to raise sufficient money, though it has been trying for years.

    Anyone who has seen these astonishingly large and ancient Atlantic Sturgeon as they spawn upriver can only marvel at these animals and the river that welcomes them. The kids sturgeon park is a nice feature, reminding us of what amazing things this river holds, but completing that and the Estuarium will add so much to all who love and want to protect and restore the Hudson River. Let’s also raise the money for that.

  6. I’m with Brandon!
    Time to pay attention to the 85+% of Tribeca that’s not children.
    AND Yes, that % is a guess, but what they hey, how many playgrounds do we need??

    Feel free to criticize but I lived here with 2 young children last century. They did just fine with what was here then: which wasn’t that much in way of playgrounds.

    • I’m thinking a hot tub for adults only. Nice to sit in during winter months and watch the sunset at 4:30. Maybe a sauna too? Viva Scandinavia!

  7. Ignoring silly comments about Scandinavian hot tubs in Tribeca, I agree with both Brandon and Ben. We have lived here for many (many) years and our kid along, with our friend’s kids, all played in our parks and playgrounds…and on our loading docks, as they were growing up. We applaud and endorse what has been done for the children of our community when it comes to building safe, creative, and fun play spaces, but there has to be a balance. Everyone living down here doesn’t have young children and although that demographic appears to be the most prevalent and most vocal, providing some thoughtfully designed space for simple relaxation or congregating (for all ages) that doesn’t include swings, slides, water spouts and giant sturgeons should seriously be considered.