Delafield Ponds, Bronx

Deep inside the upscale Riverdale section of the Bronx is a private subdivision with two ponds that recall its former landowner. The ponds can be viewed by traveling downhill on West 246th Street to the west of Independence Avenue.

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Here, the street curves and descends downhill towards the Hudson River. Delafield Way branches off to the left with the ponds located behind a guard booth at the entrance to the Delafield Estates development.

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Williamsbridge Reservoir, Bronx

September 9, 2017 the Williamsbridge Oval in the Norwood section of the Bronx observed the 80th anniversary since it opened to the public as a park. Prior to that it was a 120 million gallon reservoir built into a bowl-shaped depression on a hilltop.

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As seen on this 1937 Parks archives photo of the park under construction, the earthen embankment that ringed this manmade waterway was preserved in the park’s design.

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Kaitzbach, Dresden

Nearly every sizable European city dating to the Middle Ages or earlier had defensive moats on accounts of wars waged between various duchies, kingdoms, and empires. Some of these moats were manmade and others were modified natural streams. Along with moats, every city had a millstream whose water was harnessed to produce grain for the residents. When moats and milldams became obsolete, they were reduced in size, filled, or retained as water features in parks.

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Above is the Kaitzbach stream flowing through the Große Garten park in Dresden, Germany. Here, it widens into the Carolasee lake before disappearing under the city’s streets. The postcard dates from 1914, the year when imperial Germany plunged into the First World War.

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