Looking Ahead

Future for Visitors in Riverside Park

Painting by Ella Yang using oil on canvas. Ella described the park as “a near-escape from the City to be able to stand under a leafy tree.”

Riverside Park, stretching four miles from 72nd to 158th Streets along the Hudson River,  is home to an approximate 2 million visitors a year! This massive amount of people calls for a continuous renovations and new ideas to accommodate the visitors. A wealth of people visit Riverside Park as a place to relax and enjoy.

Riverside Park Plans Composting Restrooms

NY Times

The Riverside Clay Tennis Association hopes to ease the pain for all park goers by proposing a carbon-neutral complex that would be the first public bathroom of its kind in a New York City park. The bathroom, which would compost sewage to fertilize park greenery and use solar panels to power the complexes, is being designed to operate without causing CO2 emissions. It will produce fertilizer instead of sewage and use little or no waters. An estimated $5.5 million would be needed for construction.

Renovation of Riverside Park Walkway

The Riverside Walkway stretches from 135th to 138th. Riverside residents can now enjoy a sleek, newly designed walkway thanks to Lawrence Mauro, the park’s landscape architect. He has worked with Saratoga Associates to add flower beds and shrubs, as well as implement a new irrigation system. The grand stone staircase leading from the lower level of Riverside Park has been restored. There are five new park benches along the path to complement the elms, London plane trees and Norway maples, which provide plenty of shade. The events of July 15 were made possible with the help of a donation of $761,000 from former Councilman Stanley Michels and the efforts of the Riverside Park Fund.

Currently a project is going on that will have gardens along Riverside Walkway starting at 185th up to 150th Street. The residents in the community help out with this project by adopting a garden and becoming responsible for maintaining it. In the past the local community has played a large role in the rehabilitation of Riverside Park.  This continues as children from the neighborhood help assist in the constructing of the gardens along the walkway.

Reconciliation for Animals in Riverside Park

Red-Tailed Hawks at Riverside

Pensive red-tailed hawk (Photograph by atkaufman on Flickr)

Recently Red-tailed Hawks have been spotted in parks around New York City such as Riverside Park. Local naturalist are planning to remove inappropriate species and replace them by bird-friendly plants like Chokeberry, Shadblow, Viburnum and Dogwood. A group of volunteers from KPMG are working to plant Sumac, Witch Hazel, and other ground-covering species that birds like. A restoration plan for the sanctuary has been drawn up by Dr. Paul Kerlinger of the NY Audubon Society. Planned future improvements include the addition of soil to counter erosion, an informational sign, the installation of a drip source of water for the birds, and re-marking of the main pedestrian path through the sanctuary.

Our Ideas

Safety and Repair

As stated before, Riverside Park accommodates a large population annually. However, this strains the small staff whose goal is to maintain the park. Riverside Park has no full-time security personnel, no recreation workers in its 12 playgrounds and no park rangers. There is a dire need for these resources for the park to flourish.

Remember the Environment!

Discussions have been started that explore the juncture between the city’s wildlife and urban environment in the 21st Century. Under Mayor Bloomberg’s leadership and the implementation of PlaNYC, environmental awareness has been brought to the forefront of our city. We believe that it is necessary to examine the challenges and possibilities surrounding our natural environment and protect wildlife to shape the parks of the future. As well as accommodate the ever increasing population of visitors of Riverside Park. It will undoubtedly be hard to accomplish both but we believe the New York City parks associations are taking the right steps in putting environmentally friendly fixtures such as composting restrooms. Thus satisfying the needs of visitors and minimally disrupting the natural environment.

Long Term Ecological Monitoring

We believe it is  important to have data regarding the existing species at Riverside Park, in order to track any changes and be able to attribute these fluctuations to any ecological impacts. Long term ecological monitoring would make sense so that we may see the effects of global warming and take steps to deter it or provide animal safety. In short, ecological monitoring will assure biodiversity being that we can closely detect any abnormalities or problems.

Food for animals

One way we thought humans could help animals prosper in Riverside Park is by planting fruit bearing trees. This would provide a renewable food resource for the species that is easy to attain. It would be preferable to plant shrubs with easy to eat fruits that don’t have such a tough exterior, such would include berries and apples.

Riverside Park Fund

The Riverside Park Fund is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and improve the park. The Riverside Park Fund has over 4,000 members and a budget of nearly $2 million, most of which is dedicated to park programs and projects, like gardens, playgrounds, sports fields, monuments and landscaping. Riverside Park Fund’s volunteers dedicate over 35,000 hours of service to the park. It is a community-based volunteer organization that is structured to help improve the park. They will contribute up to $1 million annually to fund a variety of the projects in the park. Most of the future endeavors can be attributed to the Riverside Park Fund.

One Response to Looking Ahead

  1. Jason Munshi-South says:

    This section is also very good in terms of the information about proposals that have already been developed. I would like to seem more ideas from the group, however!


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