Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is praising a decision by the City’s Department of Environmental Protection to expand public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir.
“This is incredibly welcome news, and something my office has advocated for over the past few years. Jerome Park Reservoir is a historic gem of the Northwest Bronx, yet for too long access to its paths has been denied to the public for a variety of reasons. The announcement by Emily Lloyd, commissioner of the City’s Department of Environmental Protection, to begin the process of expanding public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir is incredibly welcome, and I look forward to helping plan and implement access for the reservoir in the fall,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Borough President Diaz added, “It is my hope that this announcement is the first step towards greater, permanent access to this incredible amenity.”
At a meeting of the Filtration Monitoring Committee on Monday, June 22, Commissioner Lloyd announced the creation of a task force that will convene this summer. That task force will plan a three part pilot access program for the reservoir this fall, which will include walking tours of the reservoir; a two-hour open session where people can access the reservoir inside the existing security fence and an educational curriculum developed for local schools.
Access to the Jerome Park Reservoir has been a high priority for Borough President Diaz since he took office in 2009. In May 2011, the borough president hosted a press conference with elected officials and community leaders to call for improved access to the Jerome Park Reservoir, and in June 2011 he hosted a public hearing to solicit greater input from Bronxites on the future of public access to Jerome Park Reservoir. In June 2014, Borough President Diaz joined State Senator Jeff Klein and Assembly Jeffrey Dinowitz to support legislation that would declare Jerome Park Reservoir a public park.
“Improved public access to the Jerome Park Reservoir will not only create new recreation activities in our borough, it will help unite communities across the Northwest Bronx. I congratulate the elected officials, community boards and dedicated activists whose work has helped make this announcement possible, and I look forward to walk around the reservoir this fall,” said Borough President Diaz.
Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (D-Bronx) issued the following statement:
“After meeting with DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd last night I am pleased that DEP has announced a pilot program for access to the Jerome Park Reservoir. As a long-time activist for Jerome Park Reservoir this is extremely welcome news and I hope it is the beginning of a long-term access plan so that Bronx residents can enjoy one of the city’s most beautiful resources now and in the future. It is great to see that DEP has listened to the community in agreeing to this pilot project, just as they agreed to the pedestrian bridge project in Van Cortlandt Park recently. I have worked for many years on both of these issues and I'm thrilled to see that the hard work of so many people and elected officials has paid off,” said Assemblyman Dinowitz.
Council Member Andrew Cohen Applauds the Decision to Make the Grounds of the Jerome Park Reservoir Accessible to Members of the Community
At a meeting of the Filtration Monitoring Committee on Monday, June 22nd, Emily Lloyd, Commissioner of the City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), announced the creation of a task force that will commence this summer. That task force will plan a pilot program for public access to the reservoir this fall. The pilot program will include the use of the perimeter path around the reservoir, an educational tour of the site and its facilities for local schools, as well as a two-hour open session where people can access the reservoir inside the existing security fence. Council Member Andrew Cohen applauded this decision to make the grounds of the Jerome Park Reservoir accessible to members of the community.
“I have been a long-time advocate for Parks and public access to open green space throughout The Bronx. Members of our community have advocated for a public access plan to the Jerome Park Reservoir since 2006, which makes this pilot program a welcomed opportunity. This will increase the amount of recreational space that is available for residents of The Bronx in an open-air landscape without having to leave the City. I look forward to continuing my work with the DEP to implement access to the Reservoir and hope to see this become a permanent amenity for my neighbors,” said Council Member Andrew Cohen.
The Jerome Park Reservoir is a 93-acre open air reservoir that was placed in service in 1905. Since September 11, 2001 the entire Jerome Park Reservoir site was off-limits to the public for both security and operational reasons. Understanding that the role of the reservoir would change once the Croton Filtration Plant began operating, Bronx civic leaders asked the DEP to commit to making the reservoir accessible to the public after that time.