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Meet Nessie Panton

Nessie Panton

For our third week of commemorating Black Changemakers of the Bronx River, we honor the work of Nessie Panton.

Nessie Panton has a long history in the Bronx having lived and volunteered here since the mid-1970s. Since then she has lived in Lambert Sr. housing complex across from River Park. Throughout her time as a volunteer for local organizations, including the Bronx River Alliance, she has seen the parks and Bronx river change immensely, from dilapidated land to the beautiful recreational space it is today. Being a prolific organizer, Nessie Panton was ready to help restore the habitat of the Bronx River and helped lead the acquisition of Drew Gardens in 1994. She and many others did the back-breaking work of clearing the former landfill and industrial dump and transforming it into a community space. She also played a large role in the restoration of River Park. Now from her prime spot at Lambert houses, she gets to watch the park be utilized by the community for all manner of events. Nessie Panton still volunteers to this day, even with a bad back from her groundbreaking days, citing that the change she’s seen and the friendships she’s made have kept her motivated throughout the years.

Nessie’s mission to help restore the natural and recreational spaces for the Bronx community continues to inspire the Bronx River Alliance and many of our fellow community organizations who have been impacted by her altruism.

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About the Bronx River Alliance

The Bronx River Alliance is a coordinated voice for the river that works in partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, resource for the communities through which it flows.

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