West Farms Rapids
The Daily Plant : Monday, October 16, 2000
ANOTHER GREAT STEP IN THE BRONX RIVER RESTORATION
On Saturday, Governor George E. (Hudson) Pataki, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern and local elected officials joined the Bronx River Working Group and Hundreds of Volunteers and Community Organizations in a Grand Celebration as they launched a giant golden ball into the Bronx River, an act that symbolizes the ongoing restoration of the river and its future as a recreational and navigable resource. This gilded orb, commissioned by the National Parks Service Rivers and Trails Program and designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Heder, was admired by spectators and participants as it floated downriver to Starlight Park.
After over one hundred years of industrial pollution and neglect, the restoration of the River - which flows from Westchester through the Bronx and is the only river to pass through an entire borough - has swollen to a rushing pace. Dozens of organizations, businesses, and government agencies have united in their efforts to give the river a brighter future.
“This year’s Bronx River Golden Ball is made even more special by the success of the public/private partnerships that have led to the dramatic change along the river front,” said Mayor Giuliani. “In particular, I would like to thank the thousands volunteers who have worked with the Parks Department to made it possible for all New Yorkers to enjoy the natural beauty of the City.”
Last year, StarQuest declared 1999 “The Year of the Bronx River.” True to his word, Parks has focused its resources on restoring the river, creating tremendous momentum among government and private agencies and the Bronx community. The revival of the Bronx River after over one hundred years of pollution and neglect is a staggering task, but Parks has already proven itself more than capable.
To date, Parks has removed over 250 tons of debris, and over 2,000 volunteers have taken part in clean ups and events along the river. Parks has also acquired more than 40 acres of Bronx River waterfront (including Tiffany Street Pier, Soundview Lagoons, and Bronx River Park) and completed a 1.3 mile greenway. Con Edison became the first corporate partner to participate in the Adopt-a-River program. Ford also joined this distinguished effort. Most recently, Parks Joined with Governor Pataki and the National Guard in removing dozens of cars from the river.
Parks and Partnerships for Parks have successfully leveraged private and public resources through the creation of Waterways & Trailways, the initiation of the Adopt-the-River program, and coordination of the Bronx River Working Group, an alliance of over 55 community groups, non-profits and government agencies working to achieve their vision of a restored Bronx River.
THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT WEST BRONX PARK REOPENS AFTER “5X5” CLEAN-UP
More than 70 parks workers met Friday with Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Commissioner Stern and other community leaders and local schoolchildren to reopen a drug-free Julius J. Richman (Echo) Park to the public. The park is located at East Nurnside and Valentine Avenues in the Tremont section of the Bronx.
Speaking to hundreds of schoolchildren from Community Elementary School 163. P.S. 28 and I.S.137. Fernando Ferrer declared the day, “Drug Free Echo Park Day” and noted, “the reason the Parks Department cleaned the park is because it belongs to you. It’s yours again and we’re happy that you’re here to take it back.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
If I had wings and I could fly,
I know where I would go.
But right now I’ll just sit here so contentedly And watch the river flow.
Bob Dylan (b. 1941)