A day in the life of Concrete Plant Park
Story and photos by Sandra C. Roa
NYCity News Service
Ten years ago local environmental activists began battling to rescue an industrial site on the Bronx River and transform it into a park. Four years ago, the Parks Department began construction. Now
the derelict plot of land between Westchester Avenue and the Bruckner Expressway has been reborn as Concrete Plant Park.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, residents who live nearby came out to relax, fish and simply watch the time pass. “It’s way better than the other park,” said Pauline Cousins, 31. “You don’t have to watch out for the basketball, and it’s quiet.” Cousins is now able to sit back
in a concrete lounge chair and soaked in the sun without fear of a ball hitting her face.
Others looked out over the Bronx River, as they chatting on the benches located next to fresh-smelling grass. Just upstream, fishermen patiently held onto their lines. One lucky boy played with a
blue crab just caught by his father.
The original structures are still standing in the center, making a neomodernist scene where nature meets an industrial past. The sounds of laughter, chatter and the lapping water merge with the subdued roar of the No. 6. train and rolling traffic from the neighboring expressways.
It’s a brief reminder of the challenge that remains: Like Barretto Point Park on the East River, those with no car who rely on public transportation will not find it easy to reach Concrete Plant Park. But even before its formal opening, scheduled for Halloween, plenty have found their way to Hunts Point’s newest park.
A version of this story appeared in the October issue of The Hunts Point Express.