Van Cortlandt Park Parade Grounds:
Preserved as Public Green Space for Spring 2024!
The Cricket World Cup will be hosted at another venue, avoiding the problems associated with construction of a temporary stadium in Van Cortlandt Park. The proposal had not been presented with ample time for a full and transparent review process, and brought with it concerns about potential for damage to local ecology and historic areas. The VCP Parade Grounds is a popular green space used for community cricket, as well as other sporting events and family picnics. A months-long exclusion of the public from this area to the benefit of a private group presented a heavy burden on the residents of the northwest Bronx.
The Preservancy celebrates the news of this success, which was the result of the joint efforts of outspoken community members, our local elected officials, and local community groups:
From Van Cortlandt Park Alliance:
"Van Cortlandt Park Alliance is very happy to report that the International Cricket Council heard our community’s concerns and will not build a stadium on the Parade Ground.
VCPA thanks the incredible coalition that made this possible.
New Yorkers for Parks, Bronx Council for Environmental Quality, Bronx Coalition for Parks and Green Spaces, NY Cricket League, Bronx Community Board 8, Loving the Bronx, NY Road Runners, Riverdale Main Streets Alliance, Van Cortlandt Track Club, Women of Woodlawn, Van Cortlandt Nature Group, and many others.
We heart Congressman Ritchie Torres, NYS Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, NYC Council Member Eric Dinowitz, and NYC Council Member Shekar Krishnan. Thank you for standing up for the Bronx! "
Preservancy Statement: Temporary Stadium in
Van Cortlandt Park to Host the Cricket World Cup
Dear Mayor Adams,
The Riverdale Nature Preservancy is a non-profit organization operating in the northwest Bronx since 1986. We raise procedural and substantive concerns regarding the proposed construction of a 34,000 seat temporary stadium to house the Cricket World Cup.
Good governance dictates that this proposed construction project on public park land follows the ordinary course of public review. A project of this scale merits creation of an environmental impact statement which would allow elected officials to make an informed decision and provide a basis for community feedback. Alienation of parkland for private use requires approval by our state legislature, which is not scheduled to reconvene until January 2024. However, the proposal calls for construction to begin in January 2024. Procedural safeguards which ensure transparency in government cannot be compromised due to the timelines required for execution of this one-time seasonal event. The Preservancy also has concerns about the impact of this proposal on public access to green space and the long term ecological health of Van Cortlandt Park (“VCP”). Under this plan, twenty acres of public parkland would be alienated from use by our community to the benefit of the organizers of the Cricket World Cup, a Dubai-based organization with a reported income of over $200 million in 2022. New Yorkers use the VCP Parade Ground for sports and recreation year-round, and displacement would have a negative impact on the community. Additionally, the City has yet to satisfactorily address quality of life concerns associated with VCP which the community has been expressing for years. If the City cannot provide a PEP officer or other measure to remediate the loud parties and the accompanying litter, as well as security concerns within VCP until now, it stands to reason that bringing in a stream of thousands will only exacerbate quality of life problems.
Our organization seeks greater assurance that the ecology and historic areas in VCP will not be sacrificed to short-term development. A temporary stadium will undoubtedly disturb or destroy plant life in its footprint. Crowds of thousands passing in and out of the park will leave a human footprint on this green space as well. VCP is home to historic areas which our community has preserved, including an Enslaved African Burial Ground. The proposal fails to offer an explicit explanation as to how it will ensure that the green space and historic areas in the stadium’s vicinity will not be destroyed by the structure or the crowds it invites. It also fails to guarantee that the reasonable finances will be set aside to restore any damage to this public green space.
Van Cortlandt Park is a local treasure to the people of the northwest Bronx and all New Yorkers. We value it as a public green space and historic site, and are struggling at present activity levels to obtain the security and maintenance budgets necessary to support quality of life and continued community enjoyment of the space. The Cricket World Cup will be gone as quickly as it came. We call for thorough procedural review of this proposal, and City action in line with the voice of the community.
Sherida Paulsen Jessica Haller
Sherida E. Paulsen Jessica Haller
Pollinator Pallooza-June 2023
The Preservancy was proud to participate in the 3rd Annual Pollinator Pallooza which took place at the Riverdale Y's Sunday Market. RNP board member and local beekeeper Peter Kohlmann shared his knowledge of best practices in land stewardship to support native wildlife in our area- including our precious pollinators!
Kingsbridge Historical Society has purchased Edgehill Church!
Sneak Peek inside Edgehill Church
On January 29th, the community was invited to view the inside of this historic building.
History and the Process of Preservation
Learn more about this piece of local history, and how the Kingsbridge Historical Society has succeeded in protecting this property. KHS President Nick Dembowski will be presenting at the Preservancy's upcoming annual meeting- you're invited to attend and learn more!
DSNY Compost Program: For Apartment Buildings Too!
Want curbside composting but your building hasn't signed up?
Big Reuse can provide you with the support and information you need to enroll your apartment building in the City's composting program. Contact them for information!
Photo Credit: Antigerasim
SNAD Awareness Campaign!
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.
This fall, the Preservancy's Special Natural Area District (SNAD) Awareness Campaign is underway to highlight this ecologically protected area that ensures preservation of green spaces for all.
How can you participate in our SNAD Awareness Campaign?
* For display on SNAD properties only. Click here to see if you are in the SNAD, which is zoned as NA-2.
Long Term Planning
The Riverdale Nature Preservancy is working with the NYC City Council through Community Board 8 to design long term development plans which will protect the future of our historic and natural resources. Through prudent planning, we can balance communal needs for affordable housing and access to green spaces for all Bronxites with strategic protection of the unique architecture and sensitive ecological features our community enjoys. We are working with the City Council to fine tune Speaker Corey Johnson's recent proposal, Planning Together.