New York (CBSNewYork) – A Bronx man spent an epidemic downtime to clean up remote areas of a New York City park, wash brushes, install benches, and draft plans for a major renovation.
Some neighbors applauded his efforts. But the city’s parks department? Not much.
Read more: With injuries growing across New York City, Mayor de Blasio is considering bicycles that require a license plate.
Half-Moon Overlook in the Bronx offers stunning views of the Palisades and the Hudson River, a tiny sliver in a 28,000-acre municipal park area that a man is dreaming of greatness.
“One day I walked here and I realized there was a lot of potential in this park,”; Riverdale resident Victor San Andres told CBS2’s Tony Aiello.
San Andres noticed a walkway leading down from the lookout and brought it up to get rid of debris and chopped vegetation. He also installed a bench and a solar lamp.
He also cleared the large parking lot, saying that he envisioned adding a floor to the area.
“Where people can come down in the morning and do yoga or meditation or something like that so people can do it naturally,” he said. They want to be outside “
His unauthorized park work had a lot of supporters.
Read more: New York City Subways are back in service 24 hours a day.
“We all deserve access to this beautiful point. Why not? ”Said Riverdale resident Judy Kardos.
Gene Westling appreciates the neighbor’s love for the park. But he feared that purging the vines and brush would affect wolves and especially birds.
“Disrupting their environment during the nesting season is stressful for the birds,” he said. “I don’t see birds around here anymore.”
Plus, there is an obvious problem – can you imagine everyone in New York City deciding to claim their own public space and replicate it to their liking?
The Park Service told San Andres to stop unauthorized landscaping.
“Thank you for volunteering It is important that the public works with our agency when they feel compelled to undertake a project in a city park, ”the department said in a statement.
On driving home now, the door lock will block access to the newly cleared area.
More news: A wildfire spreads through the Bass River State forest in Ocean County, New Jersey.
Although San Andres is not giving up, he is trying to sell his elected officials from the Bronx following his vision for Half-Moon Overlook, he hopes they will pressure the Park Service to improve the area.