East River Park and Waterfront

south of East 12th Street and north of Montgomery Street

East River Park and Waterfront

Park/Recreation AreaWaterfront/Riverside Park

Overview

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The East River Park is located between 12th Street and Montgomery Street and bordered by the FDR Highway. The park has a number of facilities for active recreation, and there are a number of spots in the park that are perfect for large family gatherings, BBQ's (East River Park is the largest park where you can BBQ south of Central Park!), and quiet areas where people can escape the City's everyday hustle and bustle. The East River Park also has great bike paths.

The site of the park was first home to the Nechtanc Native Americans. During colonial times, the East River served as a hub for the shipping industry. The East River Park is a Robert Moses era park, built in 1939. Robert Moses was un urban planner who was responsible for changing the urban fabric of not only the Lower East Side, but all of New York City. The shoreline was extended into the water in order to provide much needed open space for the residents living in overcrowded conditions in the Lower East Side.

There have been a number of improvements made to the park in the last twenty years such as a new promenade, repaving of the East River Greenway and waterfront which runs throughout the park. As the revitalization of city waterfronts continue, particularly in New York City's East River Park, it is important to develop the waterfront as public spaces with the community’s input and the environment’s well-being in mind.

On one of our Bikesplorations sessions, experienced East River Park’s magnificent views of the waterfront and the Brooklyn skyline. One of our Bikesplorers shared that one of her favorite memories of the waterfront was fishing with her dad there in the summer. Afterwards, we rode to the Hester Street Fair where a guest lecturer from the Lower East Side Ecology Center spoke to the students about the importance of environmental sustainability through recycling, composting, and prudent energy use.

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