You don’t have to travel far from the heart of Riverdale to be surrounded by bucolic — even wild — beauty.
As Riverdalians, we take our access to nature very seriously. We always have.
We waged a campaign that kept us off the grid that defines so much of New York City. Our 197a plan, approved in 2003, sought to limit the density of development from the Jerome Park Reservoir to the Hudson shore and to preserve the natural beauty of the community’s Special Natural Area District.
When a development endangers a lake, we speak up. When a building threatens to block a view of the Palisades across a glistening Hudson River, we balk.
But perhaps we don’t do as much as we can when it comes to making our assets accessible.
Take the trail that runs along Palisade Avenue, protected from the road by a heavy railing on its easterly edge, with views of the Hudson and the lushness of Riverdale Park on the west.
This weekend, as the sun warmed the road, runners and walkers made their way along its route, but they disdained the path, choosing instead to take their chances among the cars on the street.
The path itself is broken, with loose pieces on the trail, uneven ground beneath walkers’ feet, an accident waiting to happen.
Years ago Councilman Oliver Koppell battled mightily to have the trail restored and to prevent the Department of Transportation from replacing its handsome wooden barriers with highway steel. But nowadays, the Palisade Avenue walkway seems to have taken a back seat to bigger battles.
We have heard plenty about the effort by Save the Putnam Trail to prevent the imminent paving of that historic path in Van Cortlandt Park. An excursion railway once chugged its way to Putnam County through the park and beyond.
Hikers have long enjoyed the feel of its old cinders and rotting ties under their feet. Now a federally funded effort is scheduled to connect the path later this year with the South County Trailway in Westchester.
Keywordspalisade avenue, parks department, paving, trail, riverdale park, putnam trail, save the putnam trail, hebrew home, nature