FP friends push for kayak launch

Friends of Ferry Point Park president Dorothea Poggi stands at one of two sites in Ferry Point Park where she would like to see a kayak site installed. And she just may get her wish. - Photo by Walter Pofeldt

If one community leader has her druthers, kayaks could soon be gracing the waters of the East River and Westchester Creek off Ferry Point Park.

The popular boating option, which features small, fiberglass vessels capable of holding one or two people, has many adherents.

With the closest kayak club located all the way out on City Island, Friends of Ferry Point Park president Dorothea Poggi feels it’s time to bring the pastime to Throggs Neck.

“Parks is looking at the master plan now,” Poggi stated. “We are very interested in trying to get a kayak launch put into the plan.”

While there are currently public kayak launches at Clason Point Park, Pelham Bay Park and Hunts Point Park, Poggi would also like to see two launches at Ferry Point, one on the east side and the other on the west.

Poggi feels the kayak launch would help the public feel more in touch with nature, and provide the getaway experience that parks are supposed to provide.

“Once you are out on the water, you see that it is so beautiful and you feel like you are on another planet, even though the shore is nearby,” Poggi asserted.

While plans for a kayak launch are still preliminary, there is already an ongoing discussion to place it near the crescent-shaped waterfront promenade on the east side of the park.

Poggi hopes any eastern launch will come to include a boathouse, allowing for a park and row experience for Ferry Point.

“People from as far away as Manhattan could ride bikes to the park, get on a kayak, and then ride back,” Poggi asserted. “If we had a really nice boathouse, people could even leave their bikes, and kayak back home.”

With the extensions of the Hutchinson River greenway and the Soundview greenway, people could come from Manhattan or Westchester.

“We don’t want the west side of the park to be forgotten,” Poggi stated. “The people who I have talked to who kayak tell me that they often like to go up small streams, like the Bronx River.”

The site Poggi has in mind on the west side of the park is currently owned by the Department of Traffic, and would have to be de-mapped and handed over to Parks. It’s located near the Schley Avenue entrance to the park, on Westchester Creek.

Poggi feels that Westchester Creek could become another destination for those who enjoy this boating option, if a launch made its waterfront accessible.

Parks has taken Poggi’s requests to heart, and has hinted that at least one kayak launch may be in Ferry Point Park’s future.

Trish Bertuccio, a spokesperson for Parks, said, “Right now Parks is in the middle of developing the master plan for the park, and we are considering a kayak launch for the promenade area.”

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