The city’s most neglected park will soon see major improvements, starting with its waterfront coastline.
On Tuesday, October 22, NYC Parks, along with elected officials and local residents, celebrated the groundbreaking of the new $16.1 million Ferry Point Park Waterfront Path and Salt Water Marsh Project at 500 Hutchinson River Parkway.
The project, which is expected to be completed sometime in 2021, will transform Ferry Point Park’s eastern waterfront into a nature sanctuary that will support and encourage wildlife to flourish.
The 1.62 acre tidal saltwater marsh will help restore marine life and revitalize the area’s ecological diversity. The marsh will increase biodiversity by creating a foraging habitat for harbor herons, wading birds, deer along with menhaden, mummichug and other small and large fish that occupy the East River.
Once the project is completed, the park will also include a brand new pedestrian pathway and five overlooks yielding scenic views with benches overlooking the East River, as well as the Whitestone and Throgs Neck bridges.
Timber barrier rails and removable bollards will also be utilized, to restrict vehicular access. A majority of the site will be planted as an open maritime grassland, a term classifying grassy areas that are distanced from the shoreline but are still within close range of offshore winds and salt spray.
The grassland will extend to the edges of the existing Trump Golf Links golf course.
The project, funded in an allocation from Mayor de Blasio, will also provide 12 parking spots for its visitors.
“Ferry Point Park is in for a tremendous transformation - and I’m very excited to officially break ground on this project,” said NYC Parks commissioner Mitchell Silver. “Thanks to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s $16.1 million allocation, this location will soon be an entirely new greenspace for the community to enjoy.”
Silver was joined by parks borough commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa and elected officials Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Councilman Mark Gjonaj, who both expressed their excitement for the groundbreaking of the Ferry Point Park waterfront project.
“Ferry Point Park, the most neglected park in New York City, is finally receiving some long-overdue attention,” Assemblyman Benedetto said. “I thank the mayor for allocating millions of dollars toward a project that will transform Ferry Point Park into a place where Bronxites can enjoy the park’s breathtaking water views and the city skyline, while at the same time reinvigorate the park’s saltwater marsh ecosystem.”
“The new pathway is just one of several improvements earmarked for the park,” the assemblyman added. “By 2021, Ferry Point Park will also boast a repaved parking lot as well as the borough’s second Manhattan-bound ferry stop.”
Trump Golf Links had expressed interest in a portion of the site to expand its current golf course to qualify for PGA-sponsored tournaments, while developing a smaller waterfront footprint for public use.
The Trump Organization also offered to fund the renovation of a portion of the park’s western half. In return they asked for an extension to the golf course’s current lease with the city, cut was rebuffed.