The idea of a playground in East Oak Lane was first presented to the community by Helen G. Sturgis in 1938. For sixteen years, Sturgis, a hairdresser, volunteered her time to provide a place for families to enjoy recreational activities on the 5.7 acre plot of land located at the Southwest corner of Second Street and 65th Avenue.
Sturgis, along with a small contingency of community members convinced City officials to formally declare and develop the land as a city playground. As a result, the first small recreational building was erected on the site in 1955 and was added to in 2000. One year later, a bill was signed by the Mayor naming the site the Helen G. Sturgis Playground in honor of her efforts to provide a place for children to play in East Oak Lane.
Initially slated for complete closure in the mid 2000’s, the recreational needs of the community were revisited and taken into consideration yet again. In 2008, the East Oak Lane community and members of the Sturgis Advisory Council, under the leadership of Jeffrey L. Hackett worked with Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco to develop plans to redesign playground to more adequately accommodate the changes in the community.
In 2014, a brand new building was erected with space for future additions, an athletic field, and redesigned spray pool grounds and children play areas. The current building more than doubled the size of the original facility, and now bears the name Helen G. Sturgis Playground.