The Bronx & Greener Pastures

Van Cortlandt Lake, one of the many places popular with birds — and those who watch them.

Early in our life together, in the early/mid-1980s, Amie and I lived in two of the five boroughs that make up New York City. We never lived in the one that today, we learn, has had the most nature all along (we thank David Gonzalez for both the photographs and text of this article).

While we are not giving up the greener pastures we chose decades ago to be our home base, we are happy to know that The Bronx is so green, and can even picture making a special trip to visit this often unheralded part of New York City:

The lagoon at Pelham Bay Park.

Soundview Park

If you said Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island or Queens, guess again.

From hidden coves tucked along the Orchard Beach marshes to wide promenades covered by regal arches of trees in Soundview, there is a lot more green to the Bronx than the zoo or the infield at Yankee Stadium. The pastoral vibe might make you think you’re upstate, but as they said in the classic ’80s hip-hop movie “Beat Street,” this is the Bronx.

In a borough that is often defined by brick, asphalt and treeless streets, these verdant corners have long served the nearly 1.5 million people who live there. And like the rest of New York, Bronxites flocked to their green spaces during the pandemic, looking for ways to safely exercise and be around others.

Yet while blessed with so much green space, residents had long felt the city did not give Bronx parks their due — or money or staff — compared with tourist-packed destinations like the High Line or Central Park. The pandemic made access to parks of even greater importance in a borough that has consistently ranked last among the state’s 62 counties in health indicators like diabetes, asthma and obesity.

Read the whole story here.

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