NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) President Deborah Maher today announced funding for multi-use pathway repairs and living shoreline restoration at Randall’s Island Park. The $4.3 million project, funded by a $3.72 million grant from NYS Department of State and $660,000 from RIPA, will address erosion, stabilize the shoreline, and improve the park’s coastal resiliency along a half-mile stretch of the park’s Water’s Edge Pathway.
“Randall’s Island Park stands out as both a waterfront resource and a recreational hub for surrounding communities, and thanks to this $4.3 million project the park is on track to become more resilient while offering new programming opportunities for all New Yorkers,” said NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Liam Kavanagh. “We thank the Department of State and Randall’s Island Park Alliance for their support, and we are proud to partner with RIPA to significantly improve the park’s shoreline and multi-use pathway.”
“During the height of the pandemic, we saw greater visitation from our surrounding communities, an increase of nearly 60% coming from East Harlem alone. The popular pathway, comprising paved bike routes and pedestrian paths, has been catalytic in the Park’s transformation, and serves both commuters and recreational visitors. We are excited to receive the grant and we look forward to working with NYC Parks to restore and enhance the shoreline,” said Deborah Maher, President of the Randall’s Island Park Alliance.
The project will significantly improve the shoreline along the Water’s Edge Pathway, which runs between the 103rd Street Footbridge and the Little Hell Gate Inlet. Eroded pathway sections will be repaired and expanded to create new areas for shoreline activities including fishing, picnicking, and seining. The project will also perform seawall repairs and add nature-based features and native plantings, improving wildlife habitat and providing opportunities for educational field trips and community science projects in the area.
“Randall’s Island Park is vital to connecting the historically underserved communities of East Harlem and the South Bronx to the water and the outdoors through a trail system and new park amenities,” said Acting Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez. “The Department of State is thrilled to continue our support of the Park by funding the Multiuse Pathway and Living Shoreline Restoration project that will not only allow for the expansion of accessible nature-based programing but will also create a greener and more sustainable shoreline with improved access to our important and significant waterways.”
“I am pleased to support this project as it will not only protect a crucial public resource, but it will also address the significant shoreline erosion and stress from storms, sea level rise and boat traffic that Randall’s Island Park has experienced over the years,” said New York City Council Member Diana Ayala.
“These pathway and shoreline improvements will be transformational for Randall’s Island and the visitors who explore the Island by bike and by foot,” Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine said. “This represents a much-needed investment in Manhattan’s resiliency and a green space that especially serves the East Harlem community. Thank you to the NYS Department of State and the Randall’s Island Park Alliance for ensuring visitors can enjoy the Water’s Edge Pathway and its opportunities for shoreline activities for years to come.”
“Throughout the pandemic New York City residents have rediscovered our wonderful outdoor spaces, and Randall’s Island Park is no exception. These improvements will create new recreational opportunities for park visitors, while keeping a much-needed eye toward sustainability by addressing resiliency along the shoreline. Thank you to NYC Parks Acting Commissioner Liam Kavanagh and Randall’s Island Park Alliance President Deborah Maher for their commitment to protecting and beautifying this exciting corner of our city,” said State Senator José M. Serrano.
Design is expected to begin in October 2022.