A new mural has brightened the path to a hidden gem in the south Bronx.
The trail to Concrete Plant Park is now a vividly detailed work of art from its northern entry at Westchester Avenue thanks to a new partnership with the Department of Transportation’s art program and the Department of Health.
This mural, which was created in collaboration with design firm Interboro Partners, the Bronx River Alliance, members of the local, south Bronx community, and artist Richard Chance, consists of 28 panels featuring neighborhood residents reenacting their favorite park activities.
“Concrete Connection aims to serve as a visual connection along the pedestrian route to Concrete Plant Park and celebrate the recreational opportunities along the Bronx River Greenway,” according to a release on the project.
According to the DOH, this Bronx park was identified as a priority neighborhood site by community residents “who wanted greater visibility of the park entrance and safer connections to the Bronx River.”
There was then a call for local photograph submissions to be included in the mural.
“Art uplifts everything it touches, and the installation of Concrete Connection at Concrete Plant Park is no different,” said Assemblymember Kenny Burgos. “This mural is an amazing, collaborative addition to the Bronx, and will undoubtedly uplift our community in these trying times,” he added.
According to city agencies, this initiative was developed in support of the Southern Boulevard Neighborhood Study and led by the Department of City Planning and in collaboration with other local organizations.
“The initiative aims to pilot the integration of community-led built environment projects that respond to local priorities and promote a vibrant public realm as part of the neighborhood planning process,” according to that same release.
“With the study’s goals of preserving and investing in existing community assets, addressing the root causes of health and economic inequities, ensuring the area is a great place for young people and seniors alike, and connecting residents to assets and opportunities, these short-term projects are intended to shape longer term community-driven initiatives throughout the neighborhood that benefit and are reflective of the needs of the current neighborhood residents,” it continued.
Maria Torres, Chair of Bronx Community Board 2’s Municipality Committee expressed her happiness with the project as well.
“We are happy to have seen collaboration with community groups including Concrete Friends in ensuring local folks were celebrated in that mural. Since the opening of the park one of the biggest struggles is the visibility of the park and creating a welcoming mural that shows the real faces of our neighbors is really exciting. We hope to see more projects like these led by community and celebrating local artists in the future,” she said.