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Hudson River Park sees new highs in attendance and green initiatives

A recent dancing event held in the park. (Photo by Max Giuliani for Hudson River Park)

Hudson River Park had a record-breaking 2019 for attendance and some of its environmental programs, according to a recent announcement from the Hudson River Park Trust.

The park had almost 200,000 people attend the park’s nearly 800 events and programs during the year. Such programs include dance and music events, movie nights, family activities and fitness programming. The attendance number was a 13 percent increase from the previous year.

The park also had higher participation in its Community Compost Program, an effort to protect its green space and 400-acre Estuarine Sanctuary. About 81,000 pounds of food scraps were collected at seven drop-off sites located along the park’s four miles, to be converted into compost for trees and plantings. This was an 8 percent increase from the amount collected the previous year.

The composting program also diverted 430,000 pounds of organic waste from landfills, an increase from 400,000 pounds in 2018. The park’s compost program diverts food from the city’s waste stream and makes compost by combining those food scraps with the park’s horticulture waste.

Kids smashing pumpkins at a post-Halloween composting event. (File photo by Tequila Minsky)

A post-Halloween pumpkin smash composting event in Hudson River Park had a record 380 pumpkins smashed, which generated over 2,000 pounds of pumpkin for compost.

The park also hosted 500 educational programs, attended by over 33,000 people, and 12,000 city public school students visited the park during 250 field trips.

“As stewards of the estuarine sanctuary,” said Madelyn Wils, president and CEO of the Hudson River Park Trust, in a statement, “we are excited to welcome a record-breaking number of students and visitors with a calendar of events designed to engage New Yorkers with the waterfront and inspire another generation of people invested in preserving the long term health of the river.”

The Trust also released figures related to the park’s Park Over Plastic program, which launched this past year with the goal to reduce single-use plastics by the park and its vendors. The park installed four indoor fountains in May, which have saved the equivalent of almost 50,000 single-use water bottles.

The program also included scientists at the Estuary Lab and community volunteers removing about 555 pounds of marine debris from shores along the Gansevoort Peninsula in the West Village and at Pier 76 near the Javits Center.

Gabe Herman