The ongoing evolution of playgrounds is a testament to the indispensable role of play in childhood as well as their function as public gathering places. They were invented to provide safe, social places for children, and despite generational variations in design, this fundamental purpose for their existence has not changed. Addressing Central Park’s twenty-one playgrounds in the context of their history and relationship to the Park demands a consistent and comprehensive approach to their design and management. Improving each of them to reach the same standard of excellence at the same time will be an important investment in their longevity and in the next generation of New Yorkers.