The Daily Plant : Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Where The Sidewalk Ends… Waterfront Parks Begin
Shel Silverstein wrote of that fantastical place where the sidewalk ends where “there the grass grows soft and white, and there the sun burns crimson bright, and there the moon-bird rests from his flight to cool in the peppermint wind.” But what about where the street ends? In Northern Manhattan, Parks is working to create such an idyllic atmosphere in the form of waterfront parks.
On November 29, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, Council Member Miguel Martinez, Community Board 12 Chair Martin Collins, and third and fifth graders from P.S. 152 Dyckman Valley School to break ground on five street-end parks, from West 202nd through 206th Streets. The parks will reconnect the Inwood community to the waterfront as part of the Mayor’s citywide waterfront Greenway initiative. The project is being funded by $2.1 from Mayor Bloomberg and $200,000 from Council Member Martinez.
The concept for street-end parks comes from the Sherman Creek Interagency Initiative convened by Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff and led by the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). EDC acted as the funding conduit and aided in coordinating the community planning efforts. The initiative was a collaborative effort of multiple City agencies and the local community board to develop a comprehensive plan for the larger Sherman Creek community. One goal was to reconnect the community to the Harlem River waterfront. These parks are the first phase in a longer-term effort to reclaim the waterfront and provide continuous waterfront access from Dyckman Street north to the University Heights Bridge.
At 202nd Street, there will be a colored concrete paved seating area surrounded by ornamental native plantings, a handicap-accessible ramp, and a kayak launch. The park at 203rd Street, the largest of the parks, will feature a tree-shaded picnic and barbeque facility, a performance space and spray shower plaza, waterfront seating with decorative pavements, and fishing access. The 204th Street park is designed to complement its proximity to a thriving area of food vendors and will contain a shaded group of picnic tables surrounded by flowering vine-covered trellis walls and waterfront seating with decorative pavings. At 205th Street, there will be a gathering space with game tables and waterfront seating. The smallest site, at 206th Street, will feature waterfront seating surrounded by ornamental native plantings.
We hope that Shel Silverstein would be proud.
THE BIG RED OAK IN FOREST PARK
THE INSANITY OF THE CITY
RESCUED BY A TREE
ALL ELSE IS HOT AND HARSH;
BUT UNDER THE GRANDFATHER OAK
THE AIR IS COOL AND FULL OF LIFE.
WHEN THE INCESSANT TRAFFIC STOPS
FOR A SECOND OR TWO
THE FACE OF PRIMORDIAL FOREST
PEAKS OUT AT ME
WE SHARE OUR TREE SECONDS OF
SILENCE TILL THE NEXT BUS PASSES.
BUT I CAN FEEL THE POWER
AND BEAUTY OF THE FOREST UNDER
MY TREE, PROBABLY A SAPLING IN
GEORGE WASHINGTON’S DAY.
WHAT A WONDROUS FORM OF LIFE
THIS TREE, TOWERING OVER 100 FEET
ABOVE, HOME TO CREATURES WHO
TAKE ITS MAJESTY AS A HOME.
IT SEEMS SILLY TO GO BACK TO WORK;
WHY CAN’T I SIT HERE ALL DAY AND
LEARN MY TREES SECRETS?
SOMEHOW THE BIG RED OAK TELLS ME,
I’M JUST FINE AND I CAN COME BACK AND VISIT.
Written by Forestry Inspector Chris Weckerle
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“If the track is tough and the hill is rough, THINKING you can just ain’t enough!”
(1930 - 1999)
Directions to Sherman Creek
Know Before You Go
This park will be closed to build passive recreational facilities along the western bank of the Harlem River by constructing an entrance, paths and fencing where such a facility is lacking and in need for access to this site. The project will construct a path system along the Harlem River bank using wood chips and a low wooden guide rail fencing dividing the site from the road. An entrance area with seating and bike racks will be constructed along 10th Avenue using decorative pavements and granite block. A small wooden platform will be provided as a bridge over an eroded area where the path narrows. A drainage system will also be provided.
Anticipated Completion: Summer 2014
Sherman Creek Weather
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- Where The Sidewalk Ends… Waterfront Parks Begin