Concrete Plant Park Selected

Posted on August 22, 2011, 1:05 pm
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Concrete Plant Park in New York City has been named a “Frontline Park” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.

Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes two “Frontline Parks” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.

“We selected Concrete Plant Park for recognition because it exemplifies the power of public-private partnerships to create and maintain urban parks that make our cities sustainable and vibrant” said Catherine Nagel, Executive Director of City Parks Alliance. “We hope that by shining the spotlight on this park that we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of these kinds of partnerships to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks.”

A signature project on the Bronx River Greenway, Concrete Plant Park highlights a unique partnership between public agencies and communities to reclaim the waterfront for public use. The seven-acre park is sited on a former concrete plant, which was in operation from 1945 to 1987. After the plant closed in the 1980s and the city seized the property, Concrete Plant Park was saved from the auction block by community residents, led by Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice. These efforts were supported by The Point Community Development Corporation, community boards, elected officials, and the newly-formed Bronx River Alliance who saw the site’s potential as a waterfront park.

Revitalization began through re-establishing salt marshes on the riverbank once strewn with trash and tires, as well as reintroducing the public to the site through sponsoring community festivals and leading hundreds of residents out on the Bronx River to canoe and kayak. Today, the park boasts the stabilized remnants of the concrete plant, acres of open lawn, winding paths, game tables, a waterfront promenade, and canoe/boat launch facilities.

“From its bold architecture to its waterfront recreational amenities, Concrete Plant Park is a prime example of urban planning and adaptive re-use at its most innovative,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “It is also an example of the tangible reward that results from community partnerships. The transformation of this former working concrete plant into a striking new park is a testament to the hard work and dedication of community activists working in partnership with government to reclaim the Bronx River and its waterfront.”

Concrete Plant Park will be featured on CPA’s website, www.cityparksalliance.org, during the month of August. Robert C. Stuart Park in Houston, Texas was also selected as a “Frontline Park” in August.

The “Frontline Parks” program is made possible with generous support from DuMor, Inc. and PlayCore.

City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. It unites and serves a growing network of hundreds of civic and community leaders, government agencies, park and recreation authorities, funders and others. CPA’s vision is that everyone in urban America will live within walking distance of a park that is clean, safe and vibrant.

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