Van Cortlandt Park Master Plan

The following has been taken from the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation’s website- http://www.nycgovparks.org/park-facilties/van-cortlandt-park/master-plan.

The Need for the Master Plan

Van Cortlandt Park Lake

When Frederick Law Olmsted was mapping the streets of the Bronx in 1876, he proposed that New York City buy the Van Cortlandt family estate. He reported that, without doing any work, the property was as beautiful as Central Park. New York City purchased the land and developed a third of it as a golf course, but made no comprehensive plan for the park. From the 1930s to the 1950s, the construction of three major highways fragmented the park and restricted access of visitors to the park’s rolling hills, forests, fields and wetlands. Read more »

The Friends Welcome our New Program Assistant

Marisol Diaz is the new Program Assistant with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park. Bronx, NY

Marisol Diaz is the new Program Assistant with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park.

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park recently added another new staff member- Marisol Diaz is our new part-time Program Assistant.  Ms Diaz, a Peruvian native, is currently a post-baccalaureate student in Columbia University in Conservation Biology. She focuses on interdisciplinary approaches between ecology, social sciences, and education to encourage community-driven conservation initiatives focusing on coastal habitats impacting marine ecosystems such as coral reefs. She has contributed in the research of ocean acidification from atmospheric carbon emissions impacting microalgae distribution and their importance as the base of the marine food chain for higher animals. She has started an independent project with the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Ocean Giants Program to understand cetacean distribution using passive acoustic monitoring as a tool to mitigate potential anthropogenic impacts on whales surrounding oil and gas activities. She hopes to share her knowledge with the Van Cortlandt Park community as an active educator and academic. Marisol’s undergraduate degree was in Biology from Florida Atlantic University. Read more »

Friend of the Month- April 2014

Hana Turner our April 2014 Friend of the Month- Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Bronx, NY

Hana Turner our April 2014 Friend of the Month

Hana Turner is our April 2014 Friend of the Month.  Although, Hana is a relatively new volunteer with the Friends she has dedicated many hours to volunteering with us over the last year.  Hana is an avid park user who lives in the community and is a senior at Fieldston High School.   Hana has volunteered out in the park and in our office helping us out whenever her busy schedule allows.  We are grateful for the time she has donated to the Friends.

How and when did you get involved with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park?
Because of the business of junior year, I never got around to starting my mandatory community service until the end of second semester. I had no idea where to focus my core hours, so when the advisors at the community service office recommended the Friends, I was on board. I’ve always lived by Van Cortlandt Park and the fact that I was able to work somewhere I was very familiar with was an exciting idea. My first assignment was the summer garden crew, which I was able to smoothly fit into and enjoy. Read more »

The Friends’ Welcome John Butler as our Trails Project Manager

John Butler is the Friends’ new Trails Project Manager.

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park would like to welcome our newest staff person- John Butler.  John will be working with us through the end of the year as our Trails Project Manager- a brand new position with the Friends.

John Butler is a 2013 graduate of the University of Vermont with a BS in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. During his time in Vermont he studied the ecological systems found in the Northeastern United States. This past year John worked in the agricultural field as an educator on a dairy farm and a field hand in the maple syrup industry. Before then John was an intern with the McCaig Nature Education Center outside of Philadelphia where he performed such duties as installing water bars to reduce erosion and rerouting a trail to be less steep and easier for park users to hike. Growing up in the Philadelphia area, he is excited to be back in an urban setting and for the opportunity to work here in the Bronx and to join the community at Van Cortlandt Park. Read more »

FVCP’s Youth Internship Opportunities this Summer

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are offering two separate internships for youth this summer.  Below is more information on each program and how to apply.  Both are competitive programs so please make sure to get your completed application in on time and best of luck!

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Youth Farm Stand Interns at Montefiore Hospital Bronx, NY held in partnership with GrowNYC.

Our 2013 Youth Farm Stand Interns at Montefiore Hospital held in partnership with GrowNYC.

Youth Run Farm Stand Internship
The Youth Run Farm Stand Internship offers the rewarding opportunity to learn about produce in an urban setting. The FVCP Youth Markets are a vital community resource, providing healthier options with fresh fruits and vegetables at two farm stands. Interns in this program learn about the entire food system; growing selling, consuming, and composting. This is important because when we understand where our food comes from and where it goes, we are able to make better decisions about what we buy and eat. Read more »

Press Release: Creating a Bridge to Re-Unite Neighbors 3.29.14

PRESS RELEASE For Immediate Release*

General location of where the Pedestrian Bridge (green line with black bars) would be located over the Major Deegan- taken from the Master Plan for Van Cortlandt Park.

General location of where the Pedestrian Bridge (green line with black bars) would be located over the Major Deegan- taken from the Master Plan for Van Cortlandt Park.

Creating A Pedestrian Bridge to Re-Unite Neighbors:
A Broken Promise that We Will Make Right
Saturday, March 29th, 2014
Van Cortlandt Park

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park and Bronx Community Board 8 are hosting a Rally to highlight a broken link and a broken promise in Van Cortlandt Park: the Pedestrian Bridge over the Major Deegan Expressway that connects its eastern and western halves and connects the broken Old Croton Aqueduct Trail.  In 1999, the New York City Council determined that NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) should build a Pedestrian Bridge if it was “feasible”. A feasibility study was conducted and determined that it was feasible but DEP has refused to pay for it. We are asking our community, our elected officials, and all those who love Van Cortlandt Park to join together and demand that DEP keep its promise to the Bronx. The Pedestrian Bridge is now a part of Van Cortlandt Park’s Master Plan. The time for action is now! Read more »