Concrete Plant Park

Concrete Plant Park

Educators from YMPJ and BxRA suggested me to visit the Concrete Plant Park a while ago. I finally found time between educator interviews to come to this park, and it was beyond my imagination, although it was still under construction and was scheduled to open in fall 2008. The former Edgewater Concrete Plant on the Bronx River was closed in 1987, but its remnants, now mixed with recently planted trees, have been left intact to provide a historical background for a new park, which gives a futuristic feel. Some local people told me that although these remnants seem fascinating for new visitors, they remind residents about the industrial past of this area, and struggles that local communities and organizations went through trying to transform the abandoned site into a safe waterfront park, which will be part of the Bronx River Greenway.

Through public rallies, community visioning meetings, and local clean ups, many groups have invested enormous community spirit and determination to transform this neglected industrial site along the riverbank into a viable park,” says the website of the Bronx River Alliance. So, communities participated in shaping the design of this park, and it is interesting whether in the future local people will have opportunities to care about it and maybe do further transformation in this area as needed. In the environmental policy literature there is a notion of “working forest” – a forest that provides ecosystem services and also contributes to local economy by sustainable harvesting of wood and other forest products. I wonder whether we can talk about “working urban forests/parks,” which would provide opportunities for local people not only to be passive observers of urban nature, but also to actively engage in the management of urban natural landscapes.


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