Named for the native muskrats that often bask off its shores on the Bronx River, the new pathway, located between E. 233rd and E. 244th streets in Bronx Park is a portion of the Bronx River Greenway, a proposed 23-mile multi-use trail that’s designed to connect Bronx River community residents.
“Thanks to the $1.5 million in federal and mayoral funding, the newly reconstructed Muskrat Cove portion of the greenway offers cyclists a safe and bucolic nature trail on which to ride all the way up to the Westchester County border,” Parks commissioner Adrian Benepe said.
The Cove’s existing half-mile bicycle path received a remodel complete with new pavement, guardrails, bicycle racks and much needed on-street signage.
Bronx River Alliance executive director Linda Cox, who also serves as a Bronx River administrator for the NYC Parks Department, said the upgrade was necessary to alert park goers of what was once an overgrown, almost hidden entrance.
“People now recognize its park land so they’re beginning to go in a lot more,” Cox explained. “It’s a beautiful spot along the Bronx River, a real hidden gem.”
Along with the reconstruction of the site’s depilated stonewall, erosion control elements and new planting beds also helped make Muskrat Cove a beautified oasis for outdoor entertainment.
“The Bronx River Greenway gives New Yorkers the unmatched opportunity to walk, jog, bike or skate along the banks of the Bronx River, one of New York City’s greatest natural resources,” Benepe explained.
With eight miles of the greenway located in the City, more than four miles of the stretch is already completed, including the $1.4 million River Park and the $3.3 million Hunts Point Riverside Park. At $10 million, Concrete Plant Park is currently under construction and is expected to open by the end of the year.
In 1993 the City created a plan to establish 350 miles of landscaped bicycle and pedestrian paths, with the intention of connecting the five boroughs. Currently more than 100 miles of the proposed greenway system is built.
Muskrat Cove is a stunning new addition to what will surely become one of the borough’s most coveted outdoor attractions.
With appreciation already visible in the park, Cox said, “I think people felt very satisfied to see it reach this point.”
©2008 Community News Group