In 2014, a community engagement artist (Eve Mosher) and a democratic educator (Alex Khost) began holding pop-up adventure play events in public parks in hopes of opening a rooted adventure playground. Inspired and trained in play work by Pop Up Adventure Play, they were joined by a circus educator (Yoni Kallai), a researcher (Reilly Bergin Wilson), a playground designer (Robin Meyer), an arts educator (Jackie Katz), a former NGO project manager (Anne Morosini), and another democratic educator (Philipp Klaus). In 2015, the group collectively formed the organization play:groundNYC. As the pop-ups grew in popularity, Governors Island invited play:groundNYC to host a two-day play event on the island. 

The success of the adventure play pop-up events resonated with New Yorkers. They expressed their gratitude for the profound impact self-directed play had on their children. A year later play:groundNYC partnered with the Trust for Governors Island and opened The Yard, New York City’s only adventure playground. play:groundNYC continues to offer loose parts materials play to children throughout the city, giving them spaces to play freely without judgement.

Without the passion of our founding board members, play:groundNYC would not be the robust organization providing free play across the city it is today.


Yoni Kallai
Jackie Katz
Alexander Khost
Philipp Klaus
Robin Meyer
Eve Mosher
Anne Morosini
Reilly Bergin Wilson