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Protecting and Preserving
Natural Beauty and Neighborhood Character
in the Riverdale Area

Since 1986

Keeping Cool in Community Board 8:
Reduce the Heat Island Effect

What is the heat island effect?

Natural land coverings have many benefits:  They absorb rainwater to reduce flooding during storms, clean the air, offer homes to wildlife, and prevent soil erosion. Natural surfaces also play a critical role in moderating local temperature.  As compared  to concrete and brick, greenery and soil re-emit the heat absorbed from the sun less efficiently. 


For people living in urban areas, the replacement of trees, shrubs, soil, and other natural surfaces with impermeable dense surfaces results in an increase in the number of summer days with local temperatures over 100 degrees, as compared to neighbors in suburban and rural areas.  Individual and community decisions can make a difference- read below to find ways to help keep our community cooler this summer!

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Thank you!

We enjoyed an interesting and insightful discussion about land use, stewardship, and funding for ecologically sound policies which will improve health for the residents of the Bronx.  

View the
full meeting on our Youtube channel!

Much appreciation to our speakers:
Sherida Paulsen (SNAD)
Ray Pultinas (Native Plants)
Ritchie Torres (Q&A)

As well as to our local community members, including Eric Dinowitz (NYC D-11) who joined the conversation and used this gathering to network with individuals who value thoughtful development.  

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Protect Natural Beauty
Preserve Local Character
Join the SNAD Awareness Campaign!

Looking Ahead: Preservation in 2024

Our advocacy in 2024 will focus on key zoning changes coming forward which affect our area:

  • Department of City Planning (DCP) changes to the Zoning Resolution: Proposal allows for more residential construction in all five boroughs.  DCP is now in its “listening” phase. This is a major effort by the City which deserves our full attention, and the Preservancy is prepared to join with CB 8 and community groups to respond.

  • Hebrew Home Permit Renewal and Modifications: Together with community groups which were a party to the 2018 Memorandum of Understanding signed by Hebrew Home, we will continue to advocate for development which respects the past agreement on preservation of green space, scale, and traffic controls.

  • Enforcement: Our monitoring of local development for compliance with zoning regulations which protect trees and other natural features is ongoing.  We will continue to advocate with the community board and local officials to create effective incentives for compliance. 

Hebrew Home Updates

 Permits Filed for New Construction

In the News:

Riverspring Hebrew Home has filed permits for construction of a 12-story community building.

Follow the discussions taking place at Community Board 8 meetings!


Did you know parts of Riverdale, Fieldston and
Spuyten Duyvil are designated as a

Did you know parts of Riverdale, Fieldston and Spuyten Duyvil are designated as a SPECIAL NATURAL AREA DISTRICT (SNAD)?

This designation was made in 1975 through the New York City Zoning Resolution.  It is an important part of protecting natural areas, guiding development to safeguard mature trees and plantings, steep slopes, and rock outcrops. 


​At present there are four SNADs in NYC, including the one in our neighborhood.

Why does NYC create
Special Natural Areas?

SNADs are mapped "only in areas where outstanding natural features or areas of natural beauty are to be protected. The preservation of such areas is important because they contain areas of special ecological significance, interesting geological formulations and rock outcrops, unique aquatic features such as tidal wetlands, unique topographic features such as palisades, valleys and hills, important plant life such as glaciated oak-chestnut forests or because they serve as habitats for native flora and fauna." (Section 7412-10 of the zoning text)

The NYC Planning Commission adopted Special Natural Area District (SNAD) zoning regulations in 1974. The Commission updated and strengthened the regulations in 2005

SNAD ProtectsNatural Features:

  • trees 6" caliper or greater,

  • topographic elements: steep slopes (incline of 25% or greater), existing natural topography (0 % to < 25 % slope), and topsoil,

  • rock outcrops and erratic boulders,

  • wetlands and surface water features, and

  • botanic environments.


How can you participate in our SNAD Awareness Campaign?

  • Download our SNAD Awareness brochure or coloring sheets.

  • Display a "You Are in the SNAD" lawn sign on your property*

Where is
Riverdale's SNAD?

The SNAD in Riverdale covers much of Fieldston and Riverdale west of the highway.

How can I learn more about responsible land stewardship in our area?

Learn more about protecting local ecology here!

Special Natural Area District (SNAD) Awareness Campaign:

Join us as we highlight ecologically protected

areas in our neighborhood!

I would like to order a FREE SNAD Awareness lawn sign!

Thanks for submitting!

  • Facebook

For display on SNAD properties only. Click here to see if you are in the SNAD, which is zoned as NA-2.

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