FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES THE OPENING OF A NEW WATERFRONT PARK IN RIVERDALE
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today joined MTA Metro-North Railroad President Peter A. Cannito and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to announce the opening of a waterfront park at the Riverdale train station at West 254th Street in the Bronx. The 12,000 square-foot park is Metro-North property and was designed by New York State DEC with approximately $375,000 in State funds. The park includes three fishing observation platforms, walkways, and a series of benches and plantings. As part of an agreement signed by New York City, MTA Metro-North Railroad and New York State DEC, Parks & Recreation will maintain the park for public use, and will keep it open daily from 8:00 a.m. to dusk.
"In June, I told Riverdale residents I would expedite negotiations between the City and the State to create public access to this waterfront property," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Now, thanks to an agreement between Parks and Metro-North, this community will have one more vantage point from which to experience the beauty of the Hudson River. Our Administration has made revitalizing our 578 miles of waterfront one of its top priorities, and opening this property illustrates our commitment. I would like to thank the Governor, Metro-North and State DEC for their cooperation and hard work in opening this park to residents in this area."
"Integrating Metro-North's needs with the needs of the Bronx community has resulted in tremendous benefits to us both," said MTA Metro-North Railroad President Peter A. Cannito. "Thanks to a $90 million project to improve 9 Hudson Line stations, we could enhance the appearance and functionality of our station and improve access to the Hudson River. We made commuting easier in Riverdale, improved the quality of life for city residents and saved taxpayer dollars. That goal will continue to motivate us as we continue to rebuild this railroad, assuming our future spending is fully funded."
The park was built by New York State's Hudson River Estuary Program - a unique regional partnership designed to restore and conserve the Hudson's extraordinary natural heritage, clean up pollution, and promote public use and enjoyment of the Hudson River. The Estuary Program works with state, federal, and local partners to carry out the Hudson River Estuary Program Action Agenda, a blueprint for the cleanup of the Hudson River.
DEC Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, "This project is a successful culmination of Governor Pataki's vision, achieved through a cooperative partnership with our Estuary Program, Mayor Bloomberg, Metro North, environmental groups, community leaders, and many others, who want to increase access to this precious ecological and recreational resource. We look forward to continuing to work together to protect and enhance the Hudson River for the benefit of all New Yorkers."
"This new park is located along one of the most beautiful waterfront sites in the City that was until now inaccessible to most of the public," said Community Board 8 Chair Anthony Perez Cassino. "We are ecstatic that the community will finally be able to enjoy it. We can't thank Mayor Bloomberg enough for his assistance in solving the difficult issues that needed to be addressed so that this park will be a safe and enjoyable destination for Bronx families for years to come."
In 1999, the Governor's Task Force on Hudson River Access, established nine potential access sites over Metro North Railroad tracks in New York City, Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. These sites offer unique opportunities for developing new or improved access on the Hudson. They are located where land on the river side of the railroad tracks is available and access is compatible with environmental conditions.
The Bronx is currently experiencing the largest investment in City parkland since the 1930's. In May, ground was broken on the construction of St. James Park - the first of over 70 parks improvement projects throughout the borough costing $220 million and paid for through the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Facility. Also this year, the Parks Department will break ground on other Croton Filtration projects including extensive landscaping and greening at Grant Park; new basketball and handball courts at Drew Playground; and landscaping, fencing and a new parking lot at Pelham Bay Park. In addition, ground was broken in June on the $6.9 million, 5-acre waterfront Barretto Point Park in Hunts Point.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Department Parks & Recreation)
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