Department of Design and Construction311Search all websites

NYC Parks, DDC and Partners Officially Open $41 Million Major Greenspace Expansion in Starlight Park in the Bronx

2.7 acres of formerly paved, industrial property converted into beautiful greenspace with added greenway connection for New Yorkers to enjoy

NYC Parks: Chris Clark, 212-360-1311,
DDC: Ian Michaels, 646-939-6514,

(Bronx, NY – April 28, 2023) NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) First Deputy Commissioner Eric Macfarlane joined Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson, State Senator Luis Sepúlveda, Assembly Member Kenny Burgos, New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr., Bronx River Alliance Board Member and Executive Director of Youth Ministries of Peace and Justice David Shuffler, former Executive Director of the Bronx River Alliance Maggie Greenfield and members of the community to officially open $41 million in renovations to Starlight Park, representing a major greenspace and greenway expansion in the Bronx that closes a former gap in the Bronx River Greenway. The Starlight Park project has converted 2.7 acres of formerly paved, industrial property into a beautiful greenspace with added greenway connections for New Yorkers to enjoy.

New pathway in Starlight Park

A $41 million project in Starlight Park adds connections to the Bronx River Greenway

“This is a momentous step forward for public greenspaces in the Bronx,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “This investment has done more than transform a paved industrial property into a beautiful public park with new amenities for the community. With this project, we have filled in a gap in the Bronx River Greenway, establishing it as the heart of the expansive Bronx greenway network and connecting New Yorkers with their neighbors and their environment. I am so grateful to all of our partners at the city, state, and federal levels who have made this ambitious project possible.”

“The work that DDC completed in Starlight Park not only improves the park and the Bronx River but also serves to connect communities that long ago were divided by train lines and highways,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Thomas Foley. “In addition to closing a gap in the river's greenway, we also added new bridges spanning train lines and the river, plus better entry points into the park. Together, these help to bring together nearby neighborhoods that were previously cut off from one another. Together with the beautiful new Bronx River House, DDC has rebuilt large sections of Starlight Park and its surrounding natural areas.”

As part of the project, an important link to the Bronx River Greenway has been created and two new bridges have been built to connect the east and west sides of the river to the new greenspaces and amenities. Some of the new features include paths, landscaping, sitting areas, and a dog run. The new project links to Starlight Park’s ballfields, playgrounds, boat launch, and the Bronx River House, a community educational facility and boat house. In recent decades, the Bronx River has been rebounding in health thanks to a unique partnership between city, state, and non-profit entities like the Bronx River Alliance. This project continues that work by completing extensive shoreline re-naturalization and wetlands work. Significant stormwater management features have also been added.

“The Starlight Park expansion marks an important step in filling in the Bronx River Greenway. DOT is working closely with Parks, EDC, and stakeholders to help fill in remaining gaps along the river and to provide protected bicycle infrastructure on nearby streets to create a true greenway and cycling network,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “We look forward to our continued partnership on providing critical new greenspace for the borough—and to celebrate these improvements with upcoming events, like Bike the Block on Bronx River Avenue this summer.”

“Amtrak is proud to have supported this project that introduces beautiful greenspace and links the park to surrounding communities with the construction of new bridges over our tracks,” said Amtrak Vice President, Real Estate and Commercial Development, Louis Wolfowitz. “Amtrak service connects communities around the United States, and we’re also committed to supporting local communities in the areas we serve, like with this project.”

“The State Department of Transportation is delighted to have participated in the design and construction of Starlight Park in the Bronx, which was undertaken as part of New York State's ongoing and historic commitment to enhance infrastructure and fundamentally re-connect the South Bronx,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “The park provides local residents with much-needed opportunities for recreation and will contribute to the renaissance that is clearly evident in the South Bronx. It also demonstrates how improvements in infrastructure can transform quality of life and strengthen our communities.”

“The pandemic showed us the importance of having open space in our borough and investing in our parks, which is why I am excited about the opening of the greenspace expansion in Starlight Park,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “This project has been years in the making and is a prime example of how we can convert unused space into a beautiful greenspace for our residents and families to safely recreate. I want to thank NYC Parks, NYC Department of Design and Construction, U.S. Department of Transportation, NYS Department of Transportation, Amtrak, the Office of the Mayor, the Office of the Bronx Borough President, Con Edison, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and parks advocates for their collective work to bring this project to fruition.”

“The $41 million renovation of Starlight Park is a testament to what can be achieved when we work together to create vibrant and sustainable greenspaces that benefit our communities,” said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “The project not only closes a gap in the Bronx River Greenway, but also supports the restoration of the Bronx River shoreline, improves water quality, and provides new amenities for all to enjoy. I commend NYC Parks, NYC DDC, and all the partners involved for their dedication to enhancing the quality of life in the Bronx and beyond.”

“Today is a great and historic day for our community,” said Assembly Member Kenny Burgos. “The expansion of greenspace in Starlight Park is a major welcome to the Bronx which will improve our environment and quality of life. I am grateful to NYC Parks, the Department of Design and Construction, and all parties involved for their great work in completing this phase of the project. I can't wait to see the enormous benefits it will have for Bronxites and all New Yorkers.”

“With the opening of the Starlight Park expansion, New Yorkers will now have greater accessibility to important greenspaces that will help community building and drive economic stimulation,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “I commend NYC Parks for their determination in seeing this project through and am grateful to them for providing the Bronx with such a beautiful park to enjoy.”

“Representing the culmination of decades of work by community members to clean, reclaim, organize, and create a vision for the area, Starlight Park Phase II completes a critical South Bronx link in the Bronx River Greenway. The opening of this park is an environmental justice victory that will open up access to the river for tens of thousands of our neighbors,” said David Shuffler, Board Member of the Bronx River Alliance and Executive Director of Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Inc.

Completed in 2013, Phase 1 of the work was managed by the NYS Department of Transportation in partnership with Parks and the Bronx River Alliance. Phase 2 was managed and completed by NYC DDC in April 2023. DDC’s work was done over the course of two separate capital projects that it managed for NYC Parks, beginning in October 2017.

Under the two projects, Parks and DDC planted 140 new trees and close to 12,000 new shrubs to support the restoration of the Bronx River shoreline, including wetlands that improve water quality in the river and help to curtail erosion. New lighting was installed, several new retaining walls were constructed, a new dog run was built, 4,000 feet of new pathway was created, and drainage and electrical upgrades were made throughout various areas of the park. Additionally, a total of 50,000 tons of soil was removed and replaced to promote ecological health.

The DDC work also included two of the new bridges that help to link the park to surrounding communities, one going over the Bronx River itself just north of Westchester Avenue and one going over railroad tracks owned by Amtrak at E. 172 Street. New York State DOT built one new bridge spanning the river as part of the creation of Sheridan Boulevard, completed in 2019.

DDC also recently completed the Bronx River House in Starlight Park, which houses an environmental learning laboratory and operations for the Bronx River Alliance.

For their work on Phase 2 of the Starlight Park project, DDC and Parks previously received an Envision Gold Award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, recognizing the project’s importance for restoring balance and reuniting communities, restoring the environment and stimulating economic prosperity and development.

This $41 million project was made possible with extensive collaboration between NYC Parks, NYC DDC, U.S. Department of Transportation, NYS Department of Transportation, Amtrak, the Office of the Mayor, the Office of the Bronx Borough President, Con Edison, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and longtime Bronx River and community partners.


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor Adams’ long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit