We are happy to share the news that National Geographic has featured Yonkers Saw Mill River Daylighting Park in its September issue. beautiful americaKnown as Van der Donck Park, the park has become a landmark in downtown Yonkers and continues to thrive.
The article “America in a New Light” by Emma Marris highlights conservation approaches outside protected areas and introduces the idea that species can be conserved in working areas and cities. This recognition is proof that conservation and stewardship are possible even in the most unlikely places.
As the article states, “Initiated by community leaders more than 20 years ago, the project is a painstaking effort involving the state, the City of Yonkers, Groundwork, Scenic Hudson, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It’s a costly reality you’ve got.” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano said the project is “a major catalyst for the renaissance of downtown Yonkers and the city as a whole.” Other key partners include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, PS&S, Friends of Philipse Manor Hall, Westchester County, Scenic Hudson, The Yonkers Downtown BID, Beczak, and many other local residents and community leaders. We are so grateful to our friends at Van Cortlandt and his Alliance for inviting us to visit Mr. Maris, his park, and hope to bring some sunshine to their urban creek, Tibbets, his Brook in the near future. I’m planning on putting it in.
According to a National Geographic article, “Nothing is more poetic about the potential for urban conservation than ‘daylighting’ a creek.” It’s easy to forget that all cities are built on ecosystems, and many had rivers and streams running through them. As cities grew, these waterways were usually confined to pipes or culverts.
In Yonkers, the informal “Sixth Ward” just north of New York City, the Saw Mill River, which once powered factories to chop wood and grind grain into flour, has turned into an increasingly polluted mess. changed to In the 1920s, his last 2,000 feet were covered by a parking lot. But since 2012, 800 feet of that section have been through a beautiful waterway that glistens in the sun at the new he 2.2-acre park. More recently, other sections were discovered deep downtown.
I take the train from Manhattan to Yonkers to see it.It turns out that the creek is visible from
platform. Just outside the station, I met Bridget Griswold and Candida Rodriguez.
Groundwork of the Hudson Valley is one of many organizations that have helped backfill the creek.
We cross the street and take in the satisfying sights and sounds of the burbling central river.
downtown tell. You can see the fishway set up for baby eels born in the sea called “glass eels”
They are completely transparent so they can climb upstream and grow larger.
The project was started by community leaders more than 20 years ago, but it’s a hard-earned, expensive reality involving the state, the City of Yonkers, Groundwork, Scenic Hudson, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. is. The first 800 feet cost him $24 million. But Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano added that the project was a “major catalyst for the renaissance of downtown Yonkers and the city as a whole,” and that he inspired more than $4 billion in redevelopment, including 3,000 apartments. I was.
“Green gentrification” may be an ironic consequence of urban conservation, but Yonkers calls for some units to be low-income housing. Wildlife appeared as if by magic after the new waterways were planted with native plants. Muskrats, herons, turtles and ducks are regularly sighted here. Another section has hydro-electric wheels that power nearby streetlights.
Two men are spending an afternoon lazing in a park by a creek. “I like water. I like ducks.”
Thankfully, tell us. Griswold used to work on more traditional conservation projects, but she wanted to do something that connected people with the non-human world. That meant doing it in the city.not everyone can afford
Visit the major national parks, she says.
Rodriguez showed me the red-lined area on the Yonkers map. Less wood, more concrete.no access to nature
evenly distributed. Righting that injustice may be the best way to create a generation that cares enough to save other species.
Rodriguez says the sunlit creek provides a place for people to hang out and creates a lively atmosphere.
We protect endangered species such as eels. “Triple victory,” she calls it.
Griswold summarizes: “There’s something beautiful about downtown Yonkers, and it belongs to all of us.”