It was a smash! Killing it with pumpkins!
The Pier 84 Pumpkin Smash could have been a beach party this past Saturday with the unseasonable temperatures hitting the mid-70s. It was a beautiful day to enjoy New York City.
Children and adults took part in the annual Hudson River Park event, which gives participants the opportunity to show their might using hammers, bats, shovels and even a sledgehammer on pumpkins and pumpkin-like squashes. In addition to the highly supervised pumpkin mutilations (participants were encouraged to pound them into compostable-size pieces), other activities took place.
Face painting artists adorned faces. Hot cocoa (should have been ice cream on a day like this) and mini-muffins were consumed. Steaming the cider, the server said with a wink, you want that iced? (There was no ice.)
The annual event, organized by Hudson River Park, invites the community to “make compost smash, not trash, with leftover Halloween pumpkins.” The broken-down pieces are repurposed as compost by Park staff.
“Environmental education doesn’t have to come from a book, and it can even help you burn calories,” touts Noreen Doyle, Hudson River Park Trust President. The Park holds interactive events throughout the year that inspire connections to the environment.
The Park’s Community Compost Program began in 2015 (its facility in the Park at 33rd St.) utilizes clippings and trimmings from the Park–4 miles, Chambers to W. 59th— and includes ten drop-off sites in the Park where local residents deposit food scraps, all year long. Many pumpkins used in the smash were collected from pumpkins left at the drop-off sites.
Composted soil benefits the health of the Park by enriching lawns and flowerbeds and provides protection against pests and disease. Additionally, composted food waste reduces the need for energy-wasting shipping of waste outside of New York City.
2,500 pounds of pumpkins were smashed this year compared to 1,115 pounds last year.