The High Bridge Coalition
The High Bridge Coalition is committed to re-opening the High Bridge for public use, increasing public awareness of its historical and cultural significance, and restoring the adjacent Bronx and Manhattan parks that serve as neighborhood gateways.
For more information about upcoming events or to get involved, call (212) 360-1310.
We accomplish our goals through the following efforts:
Leading citywide campaign. With the participation of its partner agencies and organizations, the High Bridge Coalition is leading a campaign to secure funding and political support for the restoration of the High Bridge and Highbridge Parks. We are building the membership of the Coalition, organizing events, and developing educational material. The Coalition Steering Committee meets monthly to coordinate efforts, and hosts meetings with the membership to share information, identify new projects, and plan strategy.
Building community participation. The High Bridge and its two parks have been a successful a Catalyst project, a multi-year initiative of Partnerships for Parks to organize community involvement. The High Bridge Coalition and Partnerships together coordinate the High Bridge campaign with Bronx and Manhattan partners. The organizations work to raise awareness and support for the campaign in the Manhattan and Bronx neighborhoods close to the bridge. Each year thousands of bilingual calendars promoting events in both Highbridge Parks are distributed and periodic community visioning meetings are held in both Manhattan and the Bronx to identify community priorities.
Children from camps in Washington Heights participate in a NYC Dept of Environmental Protection water education program, August 2004
Organizing public programs. To bring the bridge to greater attention citywide, the High Bridge Coalition organizes lectures and exhibits. In 2005, the Coalition co-sponsored “New York’s Water Supply System: A Study in the Monumental” with The Gotham Center for New York City History, highlighting the role of the High Bridge in the city’s history. The Coalition seeks strategic partnerships and a variety of opportunities to showcase the High Bridge.
Raising awareness and visibility. The High Bridge is a unique and valuable New York City landmark that should be celebrated. To help the High Bridge gain the same broad interest and recognition as other historic buildings and structures, the Coalition is introducing New Yorkers to the bridge’s history and potential. Interpretive displays, publications, and Coalition-hosted events bring attention to the long-closed bridge. The High Bridge and Highbridge Parks (PDF, 1 MB) provides an illustrated overview of the Coalition's mission.
Teaching about the High Bridge. To introduce the High Bridge and its history to elementary school children, the High Bridge Coalition created "High Bridge in a Box" for teachers. This is a tool for teaching students about the bridge and the New York City water supply system. It includes maps of the water supply system, a model of a working water tower, water quality testing supplies, a history timeline, and a pen pal project to unite upstate and downstate kids. "High Bridge in a Box" materials will be available online.
Fireworks open the Uptown Arts Stroll at Highbridge Park (Manhattan), June 2004
Restoring and programming Highbridge Parks. High Bridge Coalition Steering Committee members are leading activities in the two Highbridge parks. Regular planting, trail clearing and restoration projects take place in Manhattan’s Highbridge Park, organized by the New York Department of Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project. In the Bronx, Partnerships for Parks supports volunteer clean-up projects in Highbridge Park and parks on the Harlem River. Please contact us if you would like to participate or lead a project.
Coalition partners also host regular outdoor events in the two parks. Concerts, films, dance performances and family activities are held frequently during the summer. The High Bridge Water Tower is open regularly year-round and is a destination during openhousenewyork. Celebrate Highbridge! has become an annual event in Manhattan on National Trails Day, the first Saturday in June.