Critical east side component of NYC’s greenway system
Amid the hustle and bustle of the city (or during a worldwide pandemic!), public parks are a place to exercise your mind and body, escape the stressors of the day, and enjoy nature’s beauty. The East River Esplanade on the Upper East Side provides unparalleled river views, a sanctuary for weary city-dwellers and a recreational outlet for people of all ages.
Urban parks, especially those on the waterfront, give apartment dwellers access to nature, soothing water views, an opportunity to exercise safely away from traffic, and a place for respite from the usual hustle and bustle of city streets. The physical proximity to water, the carefully tended gardens and restful benches overlooking the East River are all important to the overall atmosphere of this much-needed public space.
As is the case with many waterfront areas in NYC, the East River Esplanade is endangered by climate change and erosion. Plans are underway to rebuild and restore dilapidated and neglected areas of the Esplanade but the process is long and costly.
Most public parks, including the East River Esplanade, remain open to the public during the COVID-19 crisis. While social/physical distancing is still an issue and parks employees and police are there to ensure compliance with governmental regulations and restrictions. Once the COVID crisis is over, I look forward to spending a lazy afternoon on one of its many benches overlooking the East River and strolling down its promenade with friends and family once again.
The Friends of the East River Esplanade is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the revitalization and restoration of the East River Esplanade. We host free, family-friendly events along the Esplanade and create partnerships with governmental agencies, elected officials, kindred organizations and community institutions to improve this wonderful public space. Our website is www.esplanadefriends.org. Feel free to reach out to Meredith Ballew, Executive Director, for more information.
(added April 2020)