Van Cortlandt Park Selected for Parks Without Borders

For Immediate Release
May 24th, 2016

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are happy to announce that Van Cortlandt Park has been selected as one of 8 NYC Parks for the new Parks Without Borders initiative.  The new Parks Without Borders initiative focuses on three areas of the park: entrances, edges, and park-adjacent spaces. This new design approach will help unify park spaces with the neighborhoods they serve. Read more »

Tibbetts Water Quality Monitoring Project- Conductivity & Nitrate Results

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park began conducting weekly water quality monitoring at 6 different locations within Tibbetts Brook and Van Cortlandt Lake at the end of December 2015. This work is being done in partnership with various organizations including Bronx Council for Environmental Quality and the USGS who have provided expertise on monitoring and Manhattan College who has assisted with lab analysis of water samples using the lab facilities, students and professors in the School of Engineering.  Currently, we are collecting data on the following parameters: Nitrates, Total Phosphorous, pH, Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, Discharge, Turbidity and Temperature. If you are interested in learning more about this project (or any of our Wetland Stewardship programs which include restoration and education opportunities) please reach out to our Ecological Project Manager John Butler at   Here is a quick update from John Butler on some interesting results we have found so far. Read more »

Coalition for the Daylighting of Tibbetts Brook- Press Release

For Immediate Release
May 3rd, 2016

Water leaving Van Cortlandt Lake and entering into the sewer system.

On a dry day, 4 to 5 million gallons of water from Tibbetts Brook flows into the Broadway Sewer system.

Coalition for Daylighting Tibbetts Brook

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park is pleased to announce its formation of the Coalition for the Daylighting of Tibbetts Brook 5.2.16.   This project of NYC Parks is vitally important to the Park, the community and the City’s efforts to better manage stormwater and flooding.  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 clean water is then treated – for no reason- at the Wards Island Stormwater Treatment Plant.  Adding unnecessary water to sewage treatment plants produces more sewage overflows during rain events.  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. Daylighting Tibbetts Brook is one of the key projects in the Van Cortlandt Park 2034 Master Plan which the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is currently working on and the Friends of Van Cortlandt Park enthusiastically supports. Read more »

Friend of the Month- April 2016

John Abbatangelo our April 2016 Friend of the Month out in Van Cortlandt Park collecting samples..

John Abbatangelo our April 2016 Friend of the Month out in Van Cortlandt Park collecting samples.

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are happy to announce our April 2016 Friend of the Month- John Abbatangelo. John is a senior majoring in Environmental Engineering at Manhattan College. John started working with the Friends’ this past fall as our Water Quality Lab Technician. He assists in the monitoring of Tibbetts Brook and takes water samples back to the Environmental Engineering lab at the College to run nutrient and turbidity analyses. Although, we have funding to pay him for his lab time, John has gone above and beyond and has volunteered many hours out in the park collecting the water samples and helping with wetland restoration projects. John has been a great addition to our Friends’ staff and volunteers and we are thankful for all he has done to help study the wetlands of Tibbetts and make them a healthier system. Read more »

FVCP Response to Jogger Assault within Van Cortlandt Park

Press Release
For Immediate Release
March 24th, 2016

 Response to Jogger Assault in Van Cortlandt Park

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park is deeply disturbed by the police report that a jogger was physically assaulted by two men in park at approximately 7:30 p.m. on March 22, 2016.  We encourage the NYPD to put all necessary resources into promptly solving this crime.  Equally important, however, is the need to increase security and maintenance resources allocated to the Van Cortlandt Park.  FVCP is actively engaged in efforts to improve the City’s stewardship of the park as part of the 2034 VCP Master Plan and a key part of that effort must be a bigger presence of Park Enforcement Officers and NYPD officers.  In the meantime, we will continue to be active in the park with trails, wetlands, forest and education programs.

It is important to remember to call 911 if there is an emergency and to report any suspicious or illegal activity within Van Cortlandt Park by calling the 50th Precinct at 718-543-5700.

To make your voice hear or help the cause, please visit

For more information:
Christina Taylor, Executive Director of Friends of Van Cortlandt Park
Phone: 718-601-1460

Friend of the Month- March 2016

Parker Gambino giving a lesson on insect identification at the 2015 BioBlitz in Van Cortlandt Park.

Parker Gambino giving a lesson on insect identification at the 2015 BioBlitz in Van Cortlandt Park.  Photo by Stanley McCleave.

The Friends of Van Cortlandt Park are happy to announce that our March 2016 Friend of the Month is Parker Gambino. Parker is an entomologist who has been using Van Cortlandt Park to study insects, especially bees and wasps, for years. Last year, he played a vital role in the first ever BioBlitz in Van Cortlandt Park by compiling all of the data collected. Parker has also worked with our high school interns, teaching a lesson on ecological niches and compiling data on insect use of species specific seeds for egg laying and over wintering. Currently, he spends his days teaching biology at Greenwich High School. However, he will be retiring soon and we have already started making plans for how he can work with the Friends on a more regular basis. Thank you, Parker, for all that you have done for the Friends and for helping us understand the insect world of Van Cortlandt Park. Read more »