Next Friday, February 19th there will be a free public presentation at Hunter College on the proposal to daylight the buried section of Tibbetts Brook in the Bronx.
Should the proposal see the light of day, it would the most ambitious river restoration project in the state following the daylighting of Saw Mill River in nearby Yonkers. Although I will not be present at this event, my Parks colleague Marit Larson will be representing the agency. She will be joined by urban explorer Steve Duncan, who has crawled through the stream’s underground channel and presented a slide show outlining the benefits of restoring the stream.
According to the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Welikia Project, the historic path of Tibbetts Brook took the stream through the present-day Kingsbridge neighborhood towards its confluence with Spuyten Duyvil Creek, to the west of Marble Hill. The former stream bed is marked today by Tibbett Avenue.
As the former stream bed is densely developed, there is an alternative path proposed for the restored stream a couple of blocks to the east, where an abandoned railway connects Van Cortlandt Park to the Harlem River.
Transforming the former Putnam Line into a linear park with a stream would create a continuous green corridor between the park and the river, reduce the amount of water going to the sewer system, increase wildlife habitats, and the quality of life for the surrounding neighborhoods.