Bronx River Alliance: Although the Bronx River is the only freshwater river in New York City, and therefore a vital environmental and recreational resource for the borough, inadequate attention and long-term barriers to access have prevented it from fulfilling its great potential. The Bronx River Alliance, a partnership of community, governmental and environmental organizations, aims to restore the river and its rightful place in the public eye.

MPC is a founding partner in the Alliance and has been involved with promoting the Alliance; involved students from the Bronx Aerospace Academy, hosted in nearby Evander Childs High School; the Green Teens from Walton High School; and Summer Youth workers.

Friends of Van Cortlandt Park: Van Cortlandt Park borders MPC’s Norwood neighborhood and is a partner with MPC and the Jerome-Gun Hill BID in maintaining the southeast corner of the park. The recently opened Sakharah Woods playground (picture) is the latest development in what is New York City’s third largest park. MPC works with the Friends, teen program and supports restoration and outreach efforts.

Sustainable South Bronx: SSB’s Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program (BEST) provides emerging horticulture experts to work in the various parks. They are trained in environmental justice, horticulture techniques and job skills. Part of their training includes being placed in various horticulture spots throughout the Bronx. MPC works with these groups periodically as they provide basic maintenance or help with specific projects as determined by our gardener.

Fordham University: Fordham University has proven to be a great resource for our various horticulture and intern activities. Urban Plunge, a Fordham freshman orientation activity, is a series of days that students engage in volunteer efforts throughout the northwest Bronx. MPC has worked with Urban Plunge students to plant daffodils and provide erosion control techniques through cribbing the sides of Williamsbridge Oval, among other activities.

Currently, Fordham student group Parks Action for the City of New York has adopted the “gully,” or the southern tip of Mosholu Parkway. This group will provide general maintenance such as maintaining beds, weeding, and specific activities, such as planting daffodils in the terraced areas of the gully.

Mosholu Montefiore Community Center’s Summer Youth Employment Program: MMCC places over 2,000 youth in jobs throughout the Bronx during July and August with the Summer Youth Employment Program. MPC is a site, where up to 30 youth are placed. The youth are divided into several groups of five, each with a college aged mentor, and they work Williamsbridge Oval, St. James, Poe parks, and Mosholu Parkway. They provide general maintenance, but also do specific projects as directed by park gardeners or as situations arise.< Friends of Williamsbridge Oval: Community members who are active in Williamsbridge Oval Park’s activities and events. Past activities include working with the Parks Department in planning renovation activities for the Oval, working with Department of Transportation and Parks regarding street safety on the perimeter of the park, and engaging in park volunteer work days.

New York City Parks Department: The Parks Department is an integral part of the Horticulture program. We work directly with park gardeners and staff in all of our parks activities.

NYC Green AppleCorps Program: An AmeriCorps program dedicated to environmental issues. This group was pivotal in an “erosion control blitz week” in October of 2007. We look forward to working more with them.

Partnership for Parks: Twice a year, Partnership for Parks hosts It’s My Park Day!, a citywide event that encourages New Yorkers to celebrate their parks by volunteering a day of cleanup, special projects, and planting, among the various activities. MPC celebrates It’s My Park Day!, at Williamsbridge Oval with the Friends of Williamsbridge Oval, local public school groups, Fordham University and community volunteers. It gives us a chance to get to know each other and work on beautifying the parks.

High School Teams: MPC is happy to work with groups or individuals from the local schools. Here is a list of schools we’ve worked with and a brief description of their activities.

• Walton Green Teens: Cleaning up Mosholu Parkway and part of “erosion control blitz” at Williamsbridge Oval
• DeWitt Clinton ROTC: Erosion Control at Williamsbridge Oval
• MS 80: Volunteering at It’s My Park Day!

Other groups: we are happy to work with interested groups. A couple of corporate volunteer days are briefly noted below:

• PepsiCo: The volunteer efforts this day included park beautification, such as painting and displaying signs throughout the park.
• Citigroup: This end of the season volunteer day included basic
maintenance/preparation for winter freeze activities.