Northern Ponds, Bronx

When the Bronx Zoo was developed at the turn of the 20th century, its design was considered innovative as it preserved much of its natural terrain, giving many of the animals room to roam at a time when many zoos kept their exhibits in tight cages. The preservation of the landscape enabled the Bronx River to flow freely through the zoo, and retained some of the ponds and brooks within the zoo for the enjoyment of the animals.

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Among these waterways are the Northern Ponds and the brook that sends the water downstream from these ponds into the Bronx River.

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Cope Lake, Bronx Zoo

When the Bronx Zoo was developed at the turn of the 20th century, its design was considered innovative as it preserved much of its natural terrain, giving many of the animals room to roam at a time when many zoos kept their exhibits in tight cages. The preservation of the landscape enabled the Bronx River to flow freely through the zoo, and retained some of the ponds and brooks within the zoo for the enjoyment of the animals.

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One such waterway is Cope Lake, located near the northern border of the zoo by Fordham Road. Continue reading

Bronx Zoo Boathouse

I recently found a postcard that shows a boathouse on the Bronx River but had no idea where this boathouse stood. By its appearance, it is a counterpart to the boathouses of Central Park and Prospect Park but while those parks are also located at the centers of their respective boroughs, most of Bronx Park is not an open park. For more than a century, its land was set aside for the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Garden.

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So if this boathouse was within the park, what happened to it and what’s there today? Continue reading

River Park, Bronx

On its course through the borough that shares its name, the Bronx river passes through a variety of landscapes ranging from the dense forests of Bronx Park, to the postindustrial shoreline along its tidal section. Between these two elements is the neighborhood of West Farms, where the stream flows through a tight series of rapids between the Bronx Zoo and Starlight Park.

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Here we have what appears to be a waterfall in the heart of the Bronx. The view is looking north from 180th Street. Continue reading