FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 10, 2013
Starlight Park Opens With A Community Celebration, On Land And On Water
NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Congressman José E. Serrano, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, NYC Parks Bronx River Administrator and Bronx River Alliance Executive Director Linda Cox, and members of Community Board 9, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, The Point, Rocking the Boat and the Friends of Starlight Park to cut the ribbon on a newly renovated Starlight Park and improved Bronx River Greenway
“The restoration of the Bronx River is one of the great urban reclamation success stories – government at all levels working hand-in-hand with local residents and environmental advocates to create open space and dramatically transform an ecosystem," said Commissioner White. "Thanks to this public-private partnership, the Bronx River is cleaner than it has been in a century and new parks – including Hunt’s Point Riverside, Concrete Plant, and now the reconstructed and expanded Starlight Park –have been created along its banks. More than $140 million has been committed or invested, and more than 80,000 volunteer hours have been spent improving the River and new creating parks and greenway.”
“I’m thrilled as a long-time champion of the river to be here today for the official opening of Starlight Park to the public,” said Linda Cox. “Many people have worked tirelessly for many years to make this happen – and what a great park it is! Now we must complete the greenway so that all Bronx residents have equal access to a beautiful Bronx River waterfront.”
This $18 million project was constructed by the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), with $17 million in mitigation funds and $1 million contributed by Con Edison. Work included the reconstruction of the 13-acre park with a new synthetic turf multi-purpose field, picnic area, two new playgrounds with spray showers, basketball courts, multi-use pathways, and floating docks. The project also adds a new pedestrian bridge and entrance at East 177th Street, and nearly three-quarters of a mile of new greenway.
The project was sustainably constructed under NYS DOT’s “GreenLITES” program. Some of the features responsible for this designation were rain gardens and storm water retention basins, the use of recycled materials in park construction, creation and restoration of wetlands, removal of invasive plant species and planting of new landscaping, and the preservation of a catenary cable structure that was once part of the historic New York, Westchester and Boston Railway.
Under an upcoming project, Starlight Park will also be home to the Bronx River Greenway River House. This project, designed by Kiss + Cathcart, will create an approximately 7,000-square-foot structure with a boathouse and nature classroom
that will become a base for the restoration and operation of the Bronx River Greenway and the adjacent portion of the Bronx River. Construction on this project will be managed by the NYC Department of Design and Construction and is expected to begin later this year.
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