Environment and Wildlife


Highbridge Park Project - New York

Inner-city kids have benefited most from the trails

Bicycles are now allowed in Highbridge Park!

A 2005 RTP award was utilized to create bicycle trails at Highbridge Park in New York City, marking the first time that bicycles have been allowed in New York City parks since 1991. The project was completed in 2007. The standards recommended by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) convinced the City's Department of Parks and Recreation that professionally designed mountain bike trails could be built and maintained in New York City parks.

Highbridge Park was chosen as it was seen as underused for recreation and had long been a draw for illegal activities. At the same time, the recreational needs of the neighborhood youth were being underserved, increasing their long-term health risks and the costs for the city. Concerned Long Island Mountain Bicyclists (CLIMB) decided to not only focus on mountain bike trails, but also on BMX facilities, to increase the community’s connectivity to the park.

Trail along the rock face

Trail along the rock face

The result has been a resounding success. Since the construction began on the trails, some 1,200 hypodermic needles and truckloads of trash have been removed, neighborhood children have been enlisted as park caretakers, trail design has protected sensitive areas, and work parties have removed invasive species.

Most of the trail work was done by the Green Apple Corps along with the many volunteers who made it all possible. Supervising the youth workers and volunteers was Michael Vitti, President of CLIMB. Green Apple Corps is a division of AmeriCorps that works in New York City parks exclusively.

The program has since expanded to several other New York City parks. CLIMB opened trails in Cunningham Park in Queens. The New York City Mountain Bike Association partnered with the New York Adventure Racing Association to open trails in Wolfe's Pond Park on Staten Island

More winners of this award

2014: Navajo Lake State Park BOR Trail Rehabilitation - New Mexico

2013: Seneca Bluffs Trail and Trailhead Facility - Maryland

2012: Swords Park Trail (Phase 2) - Montana

2011: Middle Run Valley Bridge - Delaware

2010: Leave No Trace Program - Washington

2008: Crestone Needle/Humboldt Peak Project - Colorado

2007: Camp DREAM/Vermont Youth Conservation Corps Collaboration

2006: Four Corners Farm Conservation Easement - New Hampshire

2005: Cascade Trail Project - Maryland

2004: Lake 22 Trail Construction Project - Washington

2004: Yellowstone Wildlife Area Equestrian Trail - Wisconsin

2003: Peace Creek Trailhead Construction - Idaho

653 views • posted 12/29/2017