Grand Central Stones
Thanks to funding from the Paul and Klara Porzelt Foundation, Friends of Van Cortlandt Park partnered with the Municipal Art Society (MAS) for a Grand Central Stones Restoration Project. The goals of the project were to clean and restore the Grand Central Stones, improve landscaping, improve access and carry out long-term maintenance of these historic monuments. The Grand Central Stones are 13 pillars located west of the Putnam Trail just above the bridge at the southern end of the lake. Each is constructed of a different type of stone, marble, limestone, and granite and fashioned into blocks. The pillars were placed along the Putnam railroad tracks by Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt before 1903 to see which stone would be most durable for the construction of Grand Central Station. MAS has a great blogpost with the complete history of the stones. We hope that this project will help park visitors better understand and appreciate these 13 “strange” pillars in the middle of our forest.
Show Your Support for Daylighting Tibbetts Brook
Water from Van Cortlandt Lake enters the Broadway sewer at a rate of 4 to 5 million gallons of water per day — and that’s on a dry day. This water is then treated – for no reason- at the Wards Island Stormwater Treatment Plant. Often when it rains, the combination of sewage, street runoff and the brook enters the combined sewer, bypassing the treatment plant and flowing directly into the Harlem River. This one Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO), WI-056, connected to the Broadway sewer makes up more than half of the CSO water entering the Harlem River. Daylighting will remove this clean water from the sewer and help to reduce CSO occurrences on the Harlem River and help with flooding issues along Broadway and other areas of the Tibbetts Brook Watershed.
The Friends of VCP have joined forces with the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality to create a Coalition for the Daylighting of Tibbetts Brook. As of March 2017, Bronx Community Board 7, Bronx Community Board 8, The Bronx is Blooming, Councilman Andrew Cohen, NYS Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, Fort Independence Park Neighborhood Association, Kingsbridge Business Improvement District, Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp., Councilman Mark Levine, NYS Senator Jeffrey Klein, The Natural Areas Conservancy, New Yorkers for Parks, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, NYC H2O, Senator Gustavo Rivera, Riverkeeper, S.W.IM. Coalition, the Trust for Public Land, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy and Wave Hill have signed on. If your group would like to sign on please email firstname.lastname@example.org . Individuals may add their support by signing our online Free Tibbetts Brook petition.
Watch this Video & Learn about the Friends
Thank you to Next Round Productions for creating this wonderful video for us. Very special thank you to Partnerships for Parks for helping to fund the video!
Master Plan for Van Cortlandt Park
NYC Parks recently finalized a comprehensive Van Cortlandt Park Master Plan that will guide the restoration of Van Cortlandt Park’s natural beauty and provide solutions for the needs of all neighboring communities. The Master Plan charts clear courses of action to restore and improve this unique property. The Master Plan is intended to coordinate efforts over the next twenty years between agencies, nonprofit partners, elected officials and community groups to complete capital projects in Van Cortlandt Park. The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park look forward to helping to implement projects in this plan over the next 20 years.
FVCP in the New York Times!
FVCP was featured in a recent New York Times article New York Parks in Less Affluent Areas Lack Big Gifts.
The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Our EIN is 13-3843182.