Celebrating Ten Years of Achievement
Ten years ago, a band of passionate community leaders joined together to realize their vision of a Bronx River that would be a force for environmental reclamation and community development in the heart of the Bronx. Today, the Bronx River Alliance is often cited as a model for urban community-led restoration; our work, our parks, and our beaver have been recognized with more than 18 awards. Here are ten highlights from our first ten years.
: the river, once a neglected, shunned eyesore, is now a source of community pride, where people come to canoe, bike, picnic, and learn. The greenway is coming together like an 8-mile-long jigsaw puzzle, the river is getting cleaner and more beautiful year by year, the Alliance is growing stronger and deeper as an organization, and above all, the communities along the river are making it more and more their own.
: we have created 10 new acres of parkland along the river—including the award-winning Concrete Plant Park and Hunts Point Riverside Park—and improved 20 more, with 4 ½ miles of new or improved trail. We have secured and coordinated over $140 million in public funding for capital and restoration projects along the river and greenway.
: To paddle the river is to see it, and the Bronx, in a new light. Nearly 8500 people have paddled with us—plus thousands more also join partner organizations on river expeditions. Our work has opened up seven boat launches along the river, where none previously existed.
: We have switched from counting the number of cars pulled from the river to counting the new wildlife returning to the river—including the newly-introduced alewife herring and beaver, a New York City icon that has settled in the Bronx after a two-hundred year absence.
: Over 6500 students have touched—and been touched by—the river. Our work with nearly 1800 educators throughout the city has made the river an outdoor classroom that brings a slice of nature to urban students.
: From an all volunteer effort, we have grown into a respected nonprofit organization with a staff of 20 and a $1.7 million annual budget, bringing together a unique partnership of community organizations, businesses and public agencies in common cause to restore the river.
: We have planted nearly 85,000 trees, shrubs and other herbaceous plants, improving the shoreline all along the river’s run through the Bronx. And our work extends beyond the river banks, embracing green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and rain barrels, throughout the whole Bronx River watershed.
: a river that was once choked with debris has been cleared of 657 tons of garbage, 89 cars and nearly 30,000 tires, appliances, bicycles, and furniture.
: Over 8600 volunteers have devoted more than 83,000 hours to restoring and enjoying their river, and dozens of local organizations have incorporated river restoration into their work.
: We have created ten permanent green jobs and provided green jobs training and youth mentoring to hundreds of Bronx residents who have sought both employment and an opportunity to improve the communities along the river.