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Inwood Hill Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Waterfront Fun At Inwood Hill Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

On July 19, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe helped cut the ribbon on the new Evan Frankel Foundation Boathouse, Inwood Hill Boat Dock, and renovations to the Inwood Hill Nature Center in Manhattan. He was joined by Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat; Assembly Member Herman Farrell, Jr.; Evan Frankel Foundation Executive Director Nancy Wendell; Evan Frankel Foundation Secretary C. Leonard Gordon; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Grants Officer Merrill Hesch; Second Vice Chair of Community Board 12 Angelo Ortiz; Chair of the Community Board 12 Parks Committee Zead Ramadan; Director of the Urban Park Rangers Sara Hobel; and Junior Ranger campers and their counselors.

On this day of waterfront celebration, the weather was balmy and the water at the dock of the inlet that marks the convergence of the Hudson and Harlem Rivers glistened. To set the mood, Fellowship Ranger Rob Mastranni and his band Next Tribe treated guests to soothing tunes of tribal rhythms.

Commissioner Benepe kicked off the ceremony with the release of a kestrel, or a small falcon. The kestrel, along with six others, were recently rescued from a City park by the Rangers and had undergone rehabilitation. After the falcon flitted away into the wild, festivities continued with a speaking program, ribbon cutting, and the opportunity for Junior Rangers to explore the new waterfront facilities. Some campers went kayaking, some went canoeing, some browsed through the newly-landscaped nature center, and others engaged in kite-making. Fun was in the air, for both the young and the young-at-heart.

The three waterfront capital projects were made possible by public/private partnerships including the Evan Frankel Foundation, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. The $170,000 Boathouse was funded by $50,000 from the Evan Frankel Foundation, $85,000 from the New York State OPRHS, and $35,000 from Parks. The Boathouse is designed to hold two canoe trailers, 12 canoes and four kayaks, as well as paddles, life vests and other water safety equipment. The $95,000 Boat Dock was sponsored through $71,000 from the New York State DEC and $24,000 from Parks, allowing the Urban Park Rangers to offer public canoeing programs at high tide, every day that the nature center is open. To top off the new additions to Inwood Hill Park, Parks & Recreation allocated $100,000 to re-landscape the Nature Center and reconstruct its entrance.

None of these waterfront capital projects would have been possible without the substantial programming grant from the Evan Frankel Foundation. The $600,000 grant, to be used over the course of four years, served as an impetus for the projects. The grant is dedicated to supporting public environmental education, recreation and mentoring programs at Inwood Hill Nature Center, and to revitalizing the community and its involvement with Inwood Hill Park. Parks received the grant in 2004 and is currently entering its third year of grant programming.

"These capital projects are case in point of how public/private partnerships greatly enhance our City Parks system," said Commissioner Benepe. "Private investment in public space is invaluable, as it allows us to enhance existing programs and leverage private funds to attract special conservation and natural resource grants from federal and state government. Thanks to Parks’ partnerships with the Evan Frankel Foundation, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New Yorkers can now enjoy expanded and enhanced free waterfront access at Inwood Hill Park."

Since 2002, Parks has invested $167 million in Manhattan alone. There is an additional $73 million currently in design or planning and $185 million in active construction over the next three years.


"Everyone must believe in something. I believe I’ll go canoeing!"

Henry David Thoreau

(1817 – 1862)

Directions to Inwood Hill Park

Know Before You Go

Nature CentersInwood Hill Nature Center

Due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy, this facility is closed until further notice.

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