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Thread: Barretto Point Park in the South Bronx

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    Default Barretto Point Park in the South Bronx

    New York Daily News -

    Park coming ashore


    Friday, November 29th, 2002

    It ain't Orchard Beach, but the South Bronx is not complaining about a new waterfront park in the works for Hunts Point.

    Barretto Point Park, once it is built, will be the only riverside park in the South Bronx.

    "It's going to recapture the sense of the South Bronx as a waterfront destination," said Paul Lipson, director of The Point, a community development group in Hunts Point. "It's going to be a great place for people to come boating, jogging, walking or to enjoy their lunch."

    The 5-acre park on the East River will have a small beach, a boat launch for canoes and kayaks, an outdoor amphitheater constructed with stones, earth and grass, and volleyball, basketball and handball courts.

    The city Parks and Recreation Department was awarded a $350,000 state grant for the $5 million project, with construction expected to begin in the spring and take 18 months to complete.

    "For several hundred years, New York City's waterfronts were used for industrial uses," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe.

    "This is really a significant piece of Mayor Bloomberg's plan to reclaim the waterfront for parks and greenways and to get people back to the waterfront," Benepe said.

    The property, sandwiched between the Tiffany St. Pier and the Hunts Point Sewage Treatment Plant, was given to the Parks Department by the city's Department of Environmental Protection.

    Landscaping shield

    Unsightly views of the treatment plant from within the park will be blocked by tree plantings and other landscaping, Benepe said.

    Before construction starts, the DEP will oversee an environmental cleanup of the property, which was contaminated with waste from a paint factory that used to stand on the site.

    Community leaders are pleased to be gaining a park in the South Bronx, where open space is scarce, but there is some disappointment because of failed efforts to have the entire 13-acre plot turned into parkland.

    "It's not the best to have a waste-water treatment plant next to a park, but we'll take it," said John Robert, district manager of Community Board 2. "We're park-starved. Our biggest park is 2 square blocks."

    A state grant for $322,500 awarded to the DEP will fund the relocation of a stormwater drainage pipe that is in the path of the Bronx River Greenway.

    The two grants are part of $18 million in funding Gov. Pataki awarded last week for 119 open-space, recreation and historic preservation projects across the state.

    The Bronx River Greenway eventually will stretch 11 miles along the Bronx River to Long Island Sound not far from Barretto Point Park.

    "If you think of it as a necklace of green," said Lipson, "Barretto Point Park will be the gemstone."

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    July 20, 2004

    Illegal Dump in South Bronx to Become a Park


    A large pit filled with discarded lawn chairs, car parts and other unsightly garbage still bears a sign warning about its toxicity. The din of electric fans fills the air. But just beyond them is a snippet of the Bronx River, and piles of dirt that symbolize what is coming next.

    Yesterday, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stuck a shovel into the ground to mark the beginning of a $3.2 million project to transform an illegal dump in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx into Hunts Point Riverside Park. The park is the latest evidence of the rebirth of the riverfront in the South Bronx, an undertaking that began in the mid-1990's.

    The Parks and Recreation Department will develop the property, currently under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, creating an urban refuge from the choking smells and noises that emanate from nearby industrial buildings. (One woman, who said she was a South Bronx resident, stood along the side of the news conference and politely inquired as to what the city would do to remove the smell from a nearby fertilizer company.)

    Majora Carter, executive director of Sustainable South Bronx, demonstrated just how much a park would mean to her neighborhood; she wept openly yesterday as she described finding the modest slice of riverfront while walking her dog one day, and the journey it had made from dump to park. Her organization is one of many groups that have worked to reclaim the waterfront in the area.

    When completed, the park is expected to feature fishing, a recreational pier with a floating dock, a central open lawn and an amphitheater with stone seating. Mr. Bloomberg added that he would canoe or kayak down the Bronx River, two activities he claims to be skilled at. "I can even do an Eskimo roll," he bragged, referring to the self-rescue technique of righting a capsized boat without ever leaving it, which would certainly be of note.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    This park is very nice.

    One problem.

    If you don't have a car, you either have a long walk, or you'll just don't go.

    If the MTA would consider extending the bus route to go there (and other areas of Hunts Point), then the people of Hunts Point can really enjoy it.

    The park closes promptly at sun down so the "low-lifes" can' take over at night.

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