Honestly, I was looking for something else when I walked down the East Promenade from the post office south. But we can set that aside for now because, even on an overcast afternoon, nature lit up the path… like a reminder. And a promise.
By David Stone
Roosevelt Island’s East Promenade, Where Wild Grasses and Flowers Make a Stand
I don’t know who’s responsible for this wild garden of cultivated wildflowers and grasses, but thank you, whether it’s Hudson-Related, RIOC or someone else.
Because Hudson-Related’s graceful landscaping so refreshes every complex along Main Street in Southtown, giving them credit here is the default.
It’s a small patch along the East Promenade but a big reminder. Roosevelt Island once had wild places along each shore and within our parks. Now, we have what the state calls “open spaces,” but they’re not open to nature
A copse of willows matured in season in Lighthouse Park, becoming so dense, the soft branches lowered a curtain along the path. You had to gently sweep them away as you walked or ran. You had to touch and smell nature and were part of it.
Between the grassy area, home to the dog run, set aside for the last Southtown building, and Blackwell Park, the wild garden gets missed because of its location. It’s not “on the way” to anywhere.
But that’s a virtue making it worth the detour away from Main Street.
If we can do this along the neglected East Promenade, why not more? Why spend millions on an unneeded bike trail when wild grasses and flowers give so much more to everyone for so much less.
Why are we pouring more millions into turning Southpoint shorelines into a tourist trap of poured concrete and rock when we can have this?
Bikes and tourists serve so few of us and, in time, will make the East Promenade unsafe for many. Is it too late for saving our shorelines and parks? Maybe this wild garden will change some minds, but at least for now, we can all enjoy it.
A little detour can uplift any day with a stroll through curated nature.
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