Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
As our community prepares for our eighth annual RiverFest and our eighth year celebrating the Hudson River without a greenway next to it, President Obama’s words call out to us with renewed significance, both locally and nationally.
The best response to the abdication of environmental leadership and the abandonment of moral responsibility in Washington is not just resistance, but hyper-vigilance in our own backyard.
The Hudson River greenway is an important reminder that we must walk before we run. And we will do neither along the shores of the Hudson River in the Bronx without it.
As an activist with a finger on the pulse of our community’s greenway consciousness, I can report that there is a growing impatience with the lack of tangible progress. Despite an ongoing MTA study generously funded by state Sen. Jeffrey Klein, a community — savvy enough to know that projects of this magnitude take time — is starting to wonder aloud when it’s rising expectations will be rewarded with a shovel in the ground.
Meanwhile, we watch as millions in public funds are allocated seemingly every year for greenways in Manhattan and other parts of the city. For those of us who have long been ready to witness the beauty of our river and the majesty of the Palisades from our own shores, the time has come to bring about the change we seek.
Write to you local elected leaders. Attend and speak up at the Community Board 8 special committee on greenway meetings — the next one will likely be announced and take place during the summer. Donate to or volunteer for KRVC, your local development corporation.
Finally, join us on Sunday, June 11 from noon to 6 pm., at the beautiful campus of the College of Mount Saint Vincent for a day of fun, hopefully sun, great music, and sails on the Hudson aboard tall ships at Riverdale RiverFest. The day (and movie night on Saturday) offers the best and only real opportunity we have to recreate along the banks of the Hudson River with family, friends and neighbors.
As importantly, your participation in a festival aimed at promoting the creation of the Hudson River greenway will send a powerful message that it’s time to get this thing started.
The author is the greenway coordinator for the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp.