Green Vision Working Group

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Left: An aerial photo of Inwood (N. Manhattan), the Henry Hudson Bridge over the Harlem River, and the Spuyten Duyvil section of the NW Bronx. Right: A simulation of the same landscape before the arrival of Henry Hudson. Courtesy of The Welikia Project, WCS.

BCJN’s Green Vision Working Group focuses on promoting clean air, land, and water for residents of the Bronx and beyond. We support citizen-based initiatives to green Bronx parks, public spaces, schools, waterfronts, and water bodies. We also support global initiatives to protect and restore planetary life systems and biodiversity in ways that combat and reverse climate change, and prioritize the particularly urgent needs of communities on the front lines of climate devastation in our borough and around the world.

On Sunday, February 21, 2016, in collaboration with Percent for Green, South Bronx Unite, Bronx Climate Justice, and Friends of Brook Park, BCJN brought together more than 50 environmental leaders and activists from the Bronx and Yonkers in a discussion with the scientists of The Welikia Project (formerly The Mannahatta Project) of the Wildlife Conservation Society at the Bronx Zoo. Participating organizations and individuals are using the tools provided by The Welikia Project’s research and software to inform their ongoing efforts to green the Bronx and Yonkers, and to work together in an understanding that the natural history beneath our feet can inform a greener, healthier, and more climate-friendly city of the future. For details about BCJN’s work with The Welikia Project, visit our “Working with Welikia” page.

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Bats at sunset, summer 2015, Van Cortlandt Park in the NW Bronx. Photo: BCJN member Lucy Mercado

Green Vision’s focus is on nature restoration, on public health, on the role that restoration plays in creating a livable climate, and on working for more democratic forms of governance from the grassroots up. The Working Group’s efforts have concentrated on the following projects: developing a collaboration with the Welikia Project (see above), opposing a NYC Parks Department proposal to asphalt pave and widen Van Cortlandt Park’s (VCP) Putnam Trail, daylighting VCP’s Tibbetts Brook, (which includes addressing the CSO (Combined Sewer Overflow) problem in the N. Bronx), and working to establish a new community green space in the NW Bronx via Friends of Tibbett’s Tail, which BCJN helped to create. Please follow the above links to learn more about each of these Green Vision projects in the Campaigns section of this website.

We also support the efforts of environmental justice allies in the South Bronx. We have joined in Bronx-wide opposition to the siting of a major FreshDirect facility along the Harlem River waterfront. We strongly support the Mott Haven-Port Morris Waterfront Plan developed by BCJN ally South Bronx Unite. And we work with the NYC Community Garden Coalition and its leader, BCJN friend Ray Figueroa, to protect the city’s community gardens from development.

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The annual environmental justice waterfront bike tour of the Harlem River waterfront in the S. Bronx, organized by South Bronx Unite, and led by EJ leader Mychal Johnson. The nine-mile South Bronx waterfront along the Harlem River does not have a single public access point.

 

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