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 »

Friend of the Month- March 2014

Bob Bender, Parks Chair of Bronx CB 8, is Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's March 2014 Friend of the Month.

Bob Bender, Parks Chair of Bronx CB 8, is our March 2014 Friend of the Month.

We are happy to announce that our March 2014 Friend of the Month is Bob Bender, Parks Committee Chair of Bronx Community Board 8.  He has been a devoted supporter of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park for many years and in many ways.  Currently, Bob has been actively working with the Friends to organize the demonstration and press event on March 29th to promote the need for the DEP to keep its promise to build the Croton Pedestrian Bridge over the Major Deegan.  We are truly luckily to have him in our corner and look forward to working with him in the future.

How and when did you get involved with the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park?
I first became aware of the Friends when I joined the Parks & Recreation Committee of Community Board 8 in 2006. I was delighted to know that there was a group that was so active and so committed to Van Cortlandt Park.  I’m still delighted by that. Read more »

A 20/20 Vision for Van Cortlandt Park

The capital project which improved Van Cortlandt Lake in Bronx, NYwas one of the projects highlighted in the 20/20 Vision of Van Cortlandt Park.  Photo by Asa Aarons.

The capital project which improved Van Cortlandt Lake was one of the projects highlighted in the 20/20 Vision of Van Cortlandt Park. Photo by Asa Aarons.

On Saturday February 22nd, the Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces held the 20th Annual Bronx Parks Speak Up at Lehman College.  During the event, representatives from parks in each of the Community Boards along with Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park and the Bronx River presented their 20/20 visions- what they have seen over the last 20 years and what they hope to see over the next 20 years- for their parks.  Christina Taylor, Executive Director of the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park presented the following 20/20 Vision for Van Cortlandt Park:

“The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park, like the Bronx Parks Speak Up, recently celebrated our 20th Anniversary as we were formed in 1992.  Over the last 20 years, the Friends have seen both positive and negative changes in our beloved Park.  I am happy to say that the positive outnumber the negative.  Read more »

Bronx Parks Deserve Their Fair Share

Sachkerah Woods Playground, opened in 2007, is the newest playground in Van Cortlandt Park.  It was built using $2.9 million using funding from the building of the filtration plant in the Park.

Sachkerah Woods Playground, opened in 2007, is the newest playground in Van Cortlandt Park. It was built using $2.9 million using funding from the building of the filtration plant in the Park.

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park’s Executive Director recently was a guest blogger on Bronx Health REACH‘s blog.   The blog entitled “Bronx Parks Deserve Their Fair Share” is a timely issue as 6 weeks into the new NYC Mayor’s administration we eagerly await to hear who will be the next NYC Parks Commissioner.   What do you think?   Are Bronx parks getting their fair share?

Bronx Health REACH was formed in 1999 to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes in diabetes and heart disease in African American and Latino communities in the southwest Bronx. Since then, the Bronx Health REACH coalition, led by the Institute for Family Health, has grown to include over 70 community-based organizations, health care providers, faith-based institutions, housing, and social service agencies.  The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are proud to be a part of the coalition.

Friends are Hiring a Part-time Program Assistant

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park's ProgramAssistant, Tina Walsh, demonstrating how to plant a tree at a volunteer day last fall in Van Cortlandt Park.  Photo by Asa Aarons.

Friends’ Program Assistant, Tina Walsh, demonstrating how to plant a tree at a volunteer day last fall in Van Cortlandt Park. Photo by Asa Aarons.

Last April, Tina Walsh joined the Friends as our new Part-time Program Assistant.  While at the Friends, Tina assisted in running our educational and volunteer programs and coordinate our school year Environmental Internship which is currently in progress and spearheaded our new Summer Teen Trails Crew Internship last July and August.  Tina will be leaving the Friends shortly for a full-time position in Environmental Education in Manhattan.  We here at the Friends will greatly miss her but wish her the best of luck in her new role and look forward to possible future collaborations.  Now, our small staff has been decreased and we need to find a new person to assist with our educational and volunteer programs. Read more »

Friend of the Month- February 2014

Chrissy Word is our February 2014 Friend of the Month at the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park Bronx, NY

Chrissy Word is our February 2014 Friend of the Month.

The Friends are excited to announce that our February 2014 Friend of the Month is our good friend Chrissy Word.   Chrissy is the Director of Public Programs and Community Partnerships at Rocking the Boat.  However, we work mostly with her at our Garden & Compost Site and during our teacher workshops while she is wearing her Butterfly Project “hat”.   Chrissy co-founded Butterfly Project, an all-volunteer organization that works with community and school gardeners to assist in the development of native plants pollinator gardens. Read more »