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PR- 259-04
September 30, 2004


Ratification of Memorandum of Understanding on Croton Filtration Plan Clears Way For Enormous Improvements in Parks Across the Bronx

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today announced more than $220 million worth of improvements for Bronx Parks will be made over the next five years.

On Tuesday, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the State that allows the City to move forward with the construction of a water filtration plant for the Croton Water Supply System under the Mosholu Golf Course in Van Cortlandt Park.  As part of the agreement, more than $220 million generated from water and sewer revenue will be spent on improvements to Bronx Parks over the next five years. The agreement represents a rare opportunity to invest more than triple what would be spent on Bronx's parks over the next five years. Joining the Mayor and Governor at the event in Saint James Park in the Bronx were Assembly member Jose Rivera, Council Members Joel Rivera and Madeline Provenzano, Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Christopher O. Ward. 

"This is a great day for the Bronx," said Mayor Bloomberg. "We are making an historic investment into Bronx Parks that generations of New Yorkers will be able to enjoy.  Not since the days of the WPA will Bronx see more greening and improvements to its recreational areas. This has been a long tough road and I want to thank everyone who played a part in this important announcement. Particulary I want to express my gratitude to Governor Pataki, Assembly Speaker Silver, Senate Majority Leader Bruno, Council Speaker Miller, and Commissioners Ward & Benepe for their work on this project."

"This multi-million dollar investment in parks projects will give the Bronx the green space that it deserves," said Governor Pataki. "Because of this agreement, recreational facilities will be improved, new waterfront parks will be developed, and neighborhood parks and playgrounds will be renovated throughout the borough. Thanks to a shared commitment with Mayor Bloomberg, the Bronx is receiving a great investment in its parks. By working together, we will continue to provide clean and safe drinking water for the people of New York while creating new and improved park and recreational space for Bronx families."

 "It brings me great joy to continue to build and beautify our parks so our children can enjoy them," said Assemblyman Jose Rivera.

"Today marks an historic occasion," said Council Member Joel Rivera. "Bronx parks will receive over $220 million for beautification and restoration projects. Not only will this go a long way in beautifying our borough, it also assures safe, clean, and enjoyable parks for the people of the Bronx both young and old."

The Bronx parks projects were identified after years of input from the community, and were finalized over the past year with the help of community groups, elected officials and Bronx residents. Collaboratively, the Parks Department focused on projects that would be a challenge to fund through the capital budget. The projects fall into five categories and include improving neighborhood parks, renovating regional recreation facilities, developing the Bronx Greenway, improving and expanding access to the Bronx waterfront, building and "greening" the borough.   Highlights include:

  • More than 20 neighborhood parks and playgrounds will be renovated with new play equipment, comfort stations, seating areas, fencing and landscaping. Major work at Story Park will include reconstruction of a playground and comfort station. Tremont Park will receive a new seating area for seniors, as well as a hard court game area.

  • Regional recreation facilities, including ballfields, running tracks and tennis courts will be reconstructed or built throughout the borough. The Parade Grounds at Van Cortlandt Park will be reconstructed with new athletic fields, sod and drainage.  Playgrounds, a track field, senior area and skate park will be reconstructed at Williamsbridge Oval Park.

  • Waterfront parks will be developed along the Long Island Sound, East River and Harlem River.  New waterfront space, including a Greenway link, will be developed at Pelham Bay Park, and environmental work will include the restoration of lagoons and salt marshes at Pugsley Creek Park and Soundview Park.

  • Major sections of the Bronx Greenway, including the Hutchinson, Bronx River and Soundview to Ferry Point sections, will be completed. Work will include the restoration of existing parkland - including improving pathways and public access to parks and the waterfront - as well as transforming underutilized property into new parkland in areas with little open space.  A new pedestrian bridge over the Bronx River Parkway and Bronx River will connect Shoelace Park and Muskrat Cove providing a major link in the Bronx River Greenway.

  • A comprehensive program to "green" the borough will include the creation of new Greenstreets, improvement and expansion of horticultural plantings in parks and playgrounds, and the addition of street trees in under-served neighborhoods.  Parks will also upgrade and expand the Bronx Green House and Nursery.

  • The State will also establish a comprehensive Urban Forestry Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.  The program will further the greening of the Bronx, improve air quality, reduce ambient air temperatures, and help reduce energy costs and heat "island" effect by planting thousands of trees in parks, playgrounds, streets and other targeted areas of the borough.


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958


Lynn Rasic   (Governor)
(212) 681-4640

Ashe Reardon   (Parks)
(212) 360-1311

Charles Sturcken   (DEP)
(212) 595-6600

More Resources
View photos
Read the list of Bronx Parks Projects
Watch the press conference in 56k or 300k