FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG BREAKS GROUND ON BARRETTO POINT PARK
New $7 Million Park to be Built in the South Bronx
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was today joined by Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe to break ground on Barretto Point Park. The new five-acre park will be built on what is now undeveloped property and will add to the expanding network of new and improved parks throughout the Bronx. The $6.9 million waterfront park will be completed in the fall of 2006. The Mayor and Parks Commissioner were joined at the announcement by Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd, State Senator Ruben Diaz and Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
"Barretto Point Park will be another great park for the Bronx and a beautiful addition to the City's rapidly changing waterfront," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As we have also shown in Fort Totten in Queens, Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Brooklyn and Staten Island's Homeport, this administration is committed to revitalizing and improving our waterfront. In addition to the 70 parks improvement projects made possible by the creation of the Croton Water Filtration Plant, this new park is another example of our commitment to improving the quality of life throughout the Bronx."
"We are thrilled to announce the creation of a new park the South Bronx," said Commissioner Benepe. "Thanks to vision and generous funding capital by Mayor Bloomberg, waterfront parks throughout New York City are experiencing a waterfront renaissance. In the Bronx, we have focused on improving waterfront access and expanding our greenway system."
"Barretto Point Park is another example of how DEP can partner with Parks to create new and exciting environments to improve neighborhoods at the same time as we improve our facilities," said Commissioner Lloyd."
In addition to $5 million from the Mayor's Executive Budget, the project also received a $1.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and a $350,000 Clean Water/Clean Air Bond Act grant. The project will transform what is now an abandoned field into a beautiful waterfront park. The park's design will take advantage of its perch on the East River, providing waterfront access to a community that currently has very limited access to the river.
Barretto Point Park's main design feature is an undulating promenade that will be lined with benches and trees, and will circle a large central lawn. A stone and grass amphitheater and stage will look out onto the East River and skyline vistas. A sand volleyball area will be carved into the central lawn adjacent to a natural sand beach.
Athletic courts, play equipment, a comfort station, a boathouse, a custom designed ornamental steel fence, and perimeter plantings will line the park's border. It will also include play equipment and fitness areas. A concrete channel along the shoreline promenade will carry water from a decorative spray shower through a series of twists and turns before spilling into the river. In addition, several thousand shrubs, grasses, and trees will be planted, with picnic areas to be located among the groves of trees. Boulders, fieldstone, and stone veneer will be used throughout the park to draw upon the rocky Bronx shoreline and the exposed ledge common throughout the Bronx. Recycled plastic lumber will be used in the benches, picnic tables, cribbing, and barrier rails.
Barretto Point Park is named after Francis J. Barretto, former Assemblyman of Westchester County. He and his wife, Julia Coster, owned an estate in the area during the 1800's. Prior to 1950, the site housed a sand and gravel operation and an asphalt plant. In 2001, Parks & Recreation acquired the property from the Department of Environmental Protection. At that time, it was designated a brownfield site as a result of years of industrial use. Parks and DEP worked to decontaminate the area and subjected it to a series of environmental tests to ensure the property is clean.
Edward Skyler/Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks & Recreation)
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