07/19/2004Former Illegal Dumping Site To Become Waterfront Park
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg andParks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today broke ground on the construction of Hunt's Point Riverside Park. The $3.2 million project will transform a 1.4-acre vacant lot that had been used as an illegal dumping ground into a park featuring waterfront access at the start of the Bronx River Greenway. The Mayor and Commissioner were also joined representatives from the Point Community Development Corporation and Sustainable South Bronx at the groundbreaking ceremony.
"Today we once again reaffirm our commitment to improving and expanding public access to the City's waterfront," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Hunt's Point Riverside Park will greatly improve the quality of life in a community greatly under served in terms of green space and waterfront access.Parks & Recreation has made great progress working with community organizations throughout the South Bronx to clean up the Bronx River and restore surrounding parkland, and this new park will continue that revitalization."
"Hunt's Point Riverside Park will provide much needed green space in the South Bronx and will offer New Yorkers access to the Bronx River, New York's only freshwater river," said Commissioner Benepe. "With the support of the community, we are continuing to open up the New York City waterfront for all New Yorkers to enjoy."
The project has been funded by $3.2 million through the City's capital budget. Hunt's Point Riverside Park will be a gateway to the Bronx River and include a fishing and recreation pier with a floating dock, a central open lawn oval and a natural riverside amphitheater with stone seating and lawn panels. The shoreline of the Bronx River will be protected with a rebuilt bulkhead, an intertidal gravel beach and new plantings. The park is expected to open early 2006.
After working with the City to clean up the site, local community organizations, including the Point Community Development Corporation and Sustainable South Bronx, developed it into an ad-hoc gathering point for community events and river-oriented activities. The property is currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and will be developed by Parks & Recreation.
Hunt's Point Riverside Park sits at the beginning the Bronx River Greenway, a 15-mile multi-use bike and pedestrian path between the South Bronx and the Westchester Border and will provide continuous public access to the river when completed within the next ten years.
Over $40 million in Federal, State and City funds have been spent on projects to improve parks and greenways along the Bronx River since 1997. Parks & Recreation has worked with the Bronx River Alliance and other community groups throughout the South Bronx on restoration projects such as Starlight Park, Concrete Plant Park, and Bronx River Park to transform the Bronx River and the surrounding area for pedestrians, bicyclists and residents.