The Bronx River’s newest gem will shine even brighter.
According to Bronx River Alliance and NYC Parks, construction will soon begin on restoring Starlight Park as part of the Bronx River Greenway’s $40 million multi-phase restoration project improving the river’s ecology and providing residents additional green space and recreational facilities.
“Starlight Park is a ‘missing piece’ of the park’s puzzle that needs to be restored,” expressed Claudia Ibaven, Bronx River Alliance Greenway coordinator.
The 13-acre park which opened in 2013 will connect the Greenway allowing park-goers to walk, run and bike along the Bronx River, NYC’s only freshwater river.
The project will remove abandoned industrial infrastructure on the river’s banks to create more usable space for an overlook, a dog run and some seating areas.
Starlight Park formerly housed a manufactured gas plant between the 1800s and mid-1900s and its namesake amusement park in the 1920s.
The project will extend Starlight Park and close a major 2/3-mile gap in the 23-mile Greenway.
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation will institute shoreline restoration efforts to improve the river’s recovery and increase community resiliency against coastal storms.
The first stage will revitalize floodplain functions for 1.7 acres, re-naturalize 740 feet of armored shoreline and restore native salt marsh grasses on half an acre of new wetland habitat.
Eleven acres of parkland will be enhanced using stormwater best management practices and have reduced toxic substance exposure by removing contaminated fill.
The second stage will construct a link between Starlight Park and Concrete Plant Park via trails and pedestrian bridges.
One link will cross Amtrak lines at East 172nd Street while another will cross the Bronx River extending Starlight Park south toward Westchester Avenue.
This connection will provide thousands of Bronxites access to Starlight Park, Bronx River House and the improved waterway.
It will incorporate restored parcels completed in the first stage.
NYC Department of Design and Construction will manage the project on behalf of Parks while RBA Group will serve as design consultant.
Starlight Park’s reconstruction will be completed by June 2018.
Bronx River Alliance and Parks will select a contractor to complete the work.
Starlight Park’s restoration is funded by a Department of the Interior’s $4.4 million Hurricane Sandy Restoration Fund grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
“This new phase of the Bronx River Greenway will only add additional opportunities for our families to enjoy their Bronx River and that is incredibly exciting,” said Councilman Rafael Salamanca.
The Amazing Bronx River Flotilla, a 5-mile paddle down the Bronx River, will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 9 a.m. The rain date is Sunday, May 14.
Starting at Shoelace Park, canoers can paddle through such diverse landscapes as the New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and the waterway’s southern urbanized stretches before docking at Hunts Point Riverside Park.
To be added to the wait list, contact Tahai Addae at (718) 430-4602 or tahai.addae