Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Shape Up NYC's Fitness Party at Highbridge Park Jan 12, 2017

NYC Parks & Rec Department is sponsoring a FREE Fitness Party at the Recreation Center in Highbridge Park on January 12, 2017 at 6 PM.

Highbridge Recreation Center
2301 Amsterdam Avenue (173rd St.)
New York, NY 10033

Participants will engage in free fitness class demos - Zumba, Kickboxing, Dance Fitness and more! 
Light refreshments will be served. There will be a few special raffles and plenty of giveaways throughout the night.
Hope you can make it there!
For reservations please click here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Exterior Street -- Bronx

Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy, The New York Public Library. "Exterior Street - Highbridge" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1887 - 1986. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-0596-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
This little known street in the Bronx runs along the Harlem River. In this picture from 1887 you can clearly see the street right near the water with the Washington Bridge in the foreground and the High Bridge in the background.

In the map below you can clearly see its location right at the river's edge as it passes under the High Bridge.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

River Walk Scheduled for December 18

Information on this next Sunday's river walk by Paul Kittas of Heights Historic Tours is a bit scant, but it appears that in addition to a walk there will be a talk.  The talk will start at 10:50am, 10 minutes before the walk starts.  There is no registration required and the tour is free to attendees. The walk is over a mile long on level ground, so you won't need your mountaineering boots for this one.  The expected duration of the walk/talk is unknown.  It is not known if there are any limitations on the number of participants that can go on the tour. There are no restroom facilities either at the meeting location, along the route of the tour, or at the point of termination.  If you want more specific information it is suggested that you contact Paul Kittas directly at 646 318 5906.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Report on the Visioning Meeting on the Highbridge Park on November 28

This past Monday, on  November 28, at 6:30 p.m. NYC Parks and our elected officials  hosted a Community Visioning Session at Highbridge Recreation Center (173rd St. & Amsterdam Ave.) for Highbridge Park. The purpose was to share ideas, concerns and hopes for this 130-acre park stretching from West 155th Street up to Dyckman Street in northern Manhattan.  The meeting had over a hundred attendees and officials were ecstatic to see so many different people representing such diverse parts of the community at the meeting.  

Highbridge Park is one of only five parks in the city selected to receive $30 million in improvements through Mayor de Blasio’s Anchor Parks program, which is part of NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver’s Framework for an Equitable Future – a commitment to create thriving public spaces for all New Yorkers.   The Anchor Parks program is an idea of making the older, larger parks in New York City, and revitalizing them as major spaces for their respective communities. 
There are three stages for this process:  Design, Procurement, and Construction.  In total, it will take several years until we see the end product for Highbridge. The last major renovation for Highbridge took place in 2013 as part of an upland forest restoration program.  This program was especially important for Highbridge, which has an ecology that cannot be found in any other part of New York City.  

At the meeting, there were about 15 tables with about 7-10 people at each one,  and each table came along with a massive picture map of Highbridge to aid people in the input they would have for the meeting.  Additionally, there were two representatives at each table from the Parks Department who were there to act as guides and answer questions.  After going through some slides about the history of the park and some general ideas for inspiration, each table was asked to spent about half an hour coming up with ideas about what they would like to see done in this capital project cycle, and each table would then vote on their top three improvements and additions that they would like to see done.  After that, one person from each table presented their discussion and ideas to the whole auditorium of people. 

The following points represent the bulk of ideas that were mentioned by the attendees:

  •  Adding lighting throughout the park
  •  Installing water fountains
  •  Adding comfort stations (bathrooms) 
  •  Updating playgrounds and adding outdoor fitness equipment for adults
  •  Improving pathways and increasing connectivity between the northern and southern ends of         the park
  •  Adding benches
  •  Improving access to natural areas/trails, and fixing staircases
  • Adding wayfinding signage in multiple languages
  • Making park entrances that are more welcoming with greeting, gardens, and landscaping
Now the landscape architects are tasked with trying to accommodate as many of these suggestions as possible, within the footprint of the park and the project budget, in the proposed design.
Other proposals, such as improving maintenance and security, and increased publicity for public programming, will have to be addressed separately since they are outside the scope of a capital project. There will be Community Report Back Meeting in early 2017.  

If you were unable to attend the meeting or you have some additional thoughts you’re in luck! You can still submit your ideas online here (https://www.nycgovparks.org/planning-and-building/capital-project-tracker/project/8580) through December 12, 2016.   Click the green “Share Your Thoughts” button on the bottom left side of the page.
NYC Parks & Rec wants to hear from as many Highbridge Park users as possible. With your help, we can make sure that everyone has a chance to contribute to this effort. Please tell your friends, family and colleagues about this online form.

Please stay tuned for more details.  

Ben Kohanim