The Department of Parks and Recreation cut the ribbon for yet another waterfront park in the Bronx, one of many o the drawing board to bring green open space along the Bronx River.
On Friday, October 30 Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe was join by other Parks representatives, elected officials, members of the Bronx River Alliance and the Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, and students from C.S. 211 and Fanny Lou Hamer Freedom High School to cut the ribbon on Concrete Plant Park.
“I have to thank Parks for the excellent job here,” said Deputy Borough President Aurelia Green. “I am so deeply impressed because this is truly a work of art and so proud it is in our county. One of the great things going on in the Bronx is that we are adding parks. We are taking wasteland and making it into beautiful green space.”
Concrete Plant Park, located along the western shore of the Bronx River between Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard, was the site of a concrete mixing plant from the 1940 through 1987. YMPJ led the fight and gathered support to secure the area as parks land. The city acquired it in 2000.
“I hope when you come to Concrete Plant Park and play here you are moved by the people that have been apart of this,” said Alexia Torres-Fleming, executive director YMPJ. “Today the community is saying we are the best of leaders because we have done this ourselves.”
A part of the Bronx River Greenway, a string of multi-use pathways linked along waterfront property spanning 23 miles, Concrete Plant Park contains a multi-use path, water promenade, kayak/canoe launch, green lawns, reading circle, wetland plantings, chess tables and benches.
Material found on site, such as concrete blocks and silos were reused or kept within the park to reduce the amount of traffic and pollution during construction, keep pieces of history in the park, and to recycle old materials.
Funding for the $11.4 million dollar project came from a number of sources including $6.3 million from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, $3.9 million from Congressman Jose Serrano, $592,000 through the Croton Mitigations Funds from the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and Municipal Water Finance Authority, $540,000 from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and a $100,000 grant from the Recreational Trails Program of the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.