Cliff Stanton may no longer be a part of the group that now organizes RiverFestBX, but he’s now leading the organization that first founded it.
Stanton was voted unanimously to chair the Friends of the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx, succeeding Paul Elston.
Under Elston, the Friends were primarily responsible for advancing the idea of creating an all-river greenway along the shores of the Hudson River in the Bronx, and garnering support for a Community Board 8 resolution supporting it in 2014.
The Friends also created RiverFest, the celebration of the Hudson River, which takes place riverside at the College of Mount Saint Vincent campus, before turning it over to the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corp., where Stanton used to work.
As KRVC grew, the Friends’ activities began to wane, according to a release. In fact, the group was close to dissolving before Stanton said he agreed to resuscitate the group with the hopes of returning it to a leadership role in the greenway advocacy effort.
“As our community prepares to celebrate the 10th annual RiverFest next month, we should all take a moment to reflect on how far we have come and how much more work we have to do,” Stanton said, in a release. “We have a connsensus as a community of what we would like to see built. We have a feasibility study that says it can be done. Next, we need to secure the funding to conduct an engineering study.”
That project, of course, is the proposed access to the Hudson River, planned as a trail and parkland along the railroad tracks.
“It’s been a long road,” Stanton added, “but I feel we are getting very close to realizing our dream of a Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx.”
Volunteers dedicated to beautifying the park area around the Jerome Park Reservoir has earned recognition from Partnerships for Parks.
Jerome Park Friends and Neighbors, led by Debra Travis, was one of the recipients of the organization’s Golden Trowel Award, which recognizes a commitment to transforming parks and green spaces into what it calls dynamic community assets.
FANs, as it’s called, was founded by Travis in 2016 to tend to the natural areas around the reservoir that had become overrun with invasive species.
In 2018, the group hosted 29 “It’s My Park” projects, bringing out more than 100 volunteers to plant 1,200 flowers, collect more than 200 bags of debris, and spread 400 pounds of compost and 22 yards of mulch.