2016 has been a very productive and exciting year for the Friends of Pelham Bay Park and for the beautiful greenspace we work hard to enrich and share with all our neighbors.

This spring, we were pleased to mark the start of two capital projects that the Friends initiated – the establishment of an outdoor fitness area and the creation of Pond Walk, an accessible nature area for children.  We are thrilled that these projects have finally begun and thank our members, the community, and elected officials who worked hard to obtain the necessary funding.

Throughout the year, the Friends continued our trail maintenance efforts, our accessibility programming, and our outreach to the diverse community that use and love Pelham Bay Park.  We hosted eight volunteer projects and these, coupled with the wonderful volunteer work of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Natural Areas Volunteers and New York Cares, helped to clear, clean, plant, and keep Pelham Bay Park’s forests, meadows, and wetlands healthy and accessible.

During the year, we celebrated the truly amazing $10 million capital funding allocation by the Bronx Borough President towards the future restoration of the Orchard Beach Pavilion and brought back our Spring Fundraiser at the beautiful Pelham-Split Rock Golf Clubhouse, honoring three of our key supporters who help provide programming for our park. Those supporters were: Bobby Gonzalez, Bronx Native American Festival; Sandi Lusk, Family Fun Day; and Bob Sancho, Orchard Beach Summer Concert Series. We also reported on exciting park happenings, such as GallopNYC’s Riding Therapy Program at the Bronx Equestrian Center, the Fall Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, and even the first flowers to blossom last spring – trout lilies!

You better believe that 2017 promises to be even more exciting for the Friends.  Working with our members, we will co-sponsor new public programs and host members’ get-togethers, and are currently planning our Spring Gala.  We anxiously await the opening of Pond Walk to begin a new initiative with NYC Parks to add natural play elements to the site and increase opportunities for imaginative, sensory and accessible play.