High Bridge

Manhattan, NY

1) A Highbridge Coalition is Formed (from e-mail to TBS 4/22/01)

A very positive development since the last newsletter is that Highbridge Park is now as a project of Waterways and Trailways, under the Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program of the National Park Service. Waterways and Trailways is a partnership with the Appalachain Mountain Club and Partnership for Parks. They have been very successful in assisting community organizations involved in projects on the Bronx River. They will assist with community building and advocacy for Highbridge Park. One long-term vision we will pursue, in cooperation with the community on the Bronx side of the Harlem River, is the reopening of the High Bridge.

2) Native Forest Restoration

For the past three years, the area surrounding the Highbridge Water Tower Terrace has been the focus of volunteer efforts to create a native plant environment and provide an inviting spot for visitors to take in the view of the historic High Bridge of the Old Croton Aqueduct. What’s blooming right now are the shadbush or juneberry, redbud, and white woodland violets. As spring progresses we’ll see if the milkweed, aster, little bluestem grass, goldenrod, and black-eyed Susans planted in the fall have survived the winter. They are in the "meadow" area just north of the terrace.

We thank New York Cares for making a commitment to come out one day a month during the season to help maintain and improve on what we’ve created. New York Cares team leader Sue Castroman and a great team of volunteers worked on April 21st. The next volunteer day is Saturday, May 19th. We meet at 10 am near the Tower, entering by the walk at 174th and Amsterdam Ave. Come out and help!

3) Crossing Highbridge Reading and Book Signing

This month marks the publication of Crossing Highbridge: A Memoir of Irish America by Maureen Waters, professor of English and acting director of Irish Studies at Queens College. It is a memoir of her youth in the Bronx of the 1940s and 50s. The first chapter focuses on events associated with the High Bridge, in the days when it was still open to pedestrians. She will read from the book and speak at the Ireland House of NYU, 7pm on Thurday, April 26. The address is One Washington Mews, which is just east of Fifth Avenue one short block north of Washington Square. For information call 998-3950.

4) Aqueduct Hikes - Saturday, May 12

HIGHBRIGE PARK - This walk focuses on Highbridge Park’s long association with New York’s drinking water. It will explore the New Croton Aqueduct structures surviving in the park, then hike the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail past the High Bridge and through the park to 158th St. The trail is rugged at points, it is not a flat or obstacle-free walk. Please come prepared to do some scrambling. Bring something for a lunch break. Altogether the walk is under two miles. Led by Millie Seubert. 10:30 am - 2:30 pm. Meet in front of the Parks building at 174th and Amsterdam Ave.