Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Community Organization Spotlight: Friends of Brook Park

Anyone living in Mott Haven or Port Morris has undoubtedly heard of this unique organization, but Bronxites a little further north may not have yet...

It's Friends of Brook Park, which, according to their website, is a coalition of residents, parents, educators, workers, home and business owners and community based organizations in the South, South Bronx dedicated to managing and revitalizing an important and unique open green space.

Brook Park, located from 140th to 141st Streets on Brook Avenue, is no ordinary park... it has a bird sanctuary, chickens, and vegetable beds. Bronx youth and adults are introduced to indigenous teachings, and can take part in Labyrinth walks, art and dance workshops, a summer film series, park cleanups, and even canoe tours. The park prides itself on building multi-cultural bridges and has welcomed visitors from around the world. For more information on the fascinating history of Brook Park, click here.

In their effort to redesign the park to replace a significant amount of asphalt with greenery, Friends of Brook Park has engaged the community every step of the way in the planning process. Their plans include planting fruit and cedar trees, creating a natural labyrinth and even uncovering an underground brook.

Friends of Brook Park is also heavily involved in waterfront revitalization, with one of their pet projects being the removal of a Con Edison electrical conduit which blocks canoers' and kayakers' access through the Bronx Kill (narrow strait which separates Randalls Island from the South Bronx). Take a closer look at this issue by clicking here to view Katie Bindley's piece for the New York Times last month.

In fact, Friends of Brook Park recently took Tito Kayak, a world renowned environmental activist, on an exclusive tour of the South Bronx waterways (and the offending Con Ed conduit). Click here to view a video of the tour.

For more information on programming at Brook Park, or the various ways you can support Friends of Brook Park, click here.

*Photo courtesy of www.friendsofbrookpark.org*


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great! Wow, Tito Kayak in the South Bronx!