Locust Point is looking a lot greener these days.
The project to bring a small greenstreet to the entrance of the Locust Point community is underway and should be done by the middle of the month. The project, which includes a sidewalk, a new guard rail and half a dozen different kinds of bushes and flowers, enlivens the once drab entrance.
“We’re very excited about it,” vice president of the Locust Point Civic Association Chrys Napolitano, said. “It’s a much nicer appearance and when you look through it, you remember that there’s a wetlands behind there and that it’s not some construction site.”
According to Jerry Landi, president of the civic association, several decades ago a developer agreed that in exchange for a hug swath of land in the community, the company would turn the area into a community space full of lush greenery and recreational facilities, such as a basketball court.
However, the project never saw the light of day and as they years went by, the land continued to fall into an eyesore.
“It looked like an industrial dumping site,” Landi said.
About two years ago Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s office allocated funding for the work to create the green space. It was part of a $500,000 allocation that funded similar projects in Westchester and Pelham Bay.
“I’ve been funding greenstreets because they really enhance the beauty of the neighborhood,” Vacca said. “When the Locust Point community came to me I thought it was fantastic because this is at the entrance way. We found out this was city property, so we had to coordinate it with parks and DOT, which took a little while, but we knew the end result would be worth it and we’re happy.”
Since construction began last week, Landi said he has been contacted by several curious residents that have been waiting to see the land beautiful for years.
“Everybody’s been asking about the project and we’re all so happy to see its getting done,” he said.
For the next two years crews from the greenstreets program will water and tend to the garden. After that the responsibility will fall to the local garden club.
For Napolitano, the biggest benefit will be that residents who need to walk to either Pennyfield or Harding avenues to catch the bus will no longer need to slog through the mud as they enter or exit the community.
“It’s really a wonderful roadway now,” she said. “It’s very heavily planted and the Locust Point community is really excited about it.”
Although this was the final project for his half-million allocation, the greenstreets program is not dead.
Vacca plans to keep it going with a new $300,000 allocation for future projects that will make the Bronx a greener borough.