De Matti Playground is a park on the North Shore of Staten Island. This park was named after Nicholas De Matti. Nicholas De Matti was born and raised on Staten Island, in the Rosebank neighborhood. Once old enough, Nicholas De Matti enrolled in the United States Army and became a Private during World War I. He served in the 78th Division of the United States Army and was part of Company K in the 310th Infantry. While serving the country overseas, in France, he died in action on September 26th, 1918.
After World War I was over, in 1918, the War Memorial Committee wanted to build a Memorial Arch to honor the soldiers killed during the war. When they were unable to raise enough money, they gave what they did raise to the City of New York. By 1934, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Robert Moses, wanted to construct more playgrounds across the five boroughs. Robert Moses was able to convince the War Memorial Committee to allow the funds they raised for the Memorial Arch to be used to create these new playgrounds. With this money and some extra aid from the Federal Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Robert Moses was able to create nine new playgrounds, De Matti Playground being one of them. These nine playgrounds are all War Memorial Playgrounds that honor the soldiers from World War I.
De Matti Playground is situated in the neighborhood of Rosebank. The park was constructed here because this is the area in which Nicholas De Matti grew up. Located inside the park is a bronze tablet which was placed there in honor of Nicholas De Matti's service to the country. The entrance to the park is on Tompkins Avenue between Chestnut Avenue and Shaughnessy Lane. De Matti Playground is located on Tompkins Avenue, next to the Garibaldi-Meucci Memorial Museum.
De Matti Playground has activities for all walks of life. The facilities include a concrete baseball field, basketball courts, a spray fountain, two play units, swings, and a recreation center. This park also holds benches, drinking fountains, and a bathroom. The recreation center located in this park is a Field House. The De Matti Playground Field House offers after-school programs for children aged 6 â€“ 13. It also offers other programs for adults and seniors.