City Claims to Preserve East River Park Amphitheater and Allow LES Ecology Center Composting to Remain

Posted on: June 14th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

east river park, delancey

With the massive East Side Coastal Resiliency Project underway, the city last week announced additional funding to preserve the East River Park amphitheater, and allow the Lower East Side Ecology Center to keep its compost footprint inside the park.

City officials announced the cash infusion to save the eroded bandshell – erected in 1941 – during the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 last Thursday. The $4.83 million budgeted for the preservation will go toward installing a new roof system over the current structure.

However, advocates claim that this announcement is misleading. And that this is not really a “preservation” but a complete overhaul (demolition) to something the community is against.

Also announced at the meeting was encouraging news that the Lower East Side Ecology Center can continue its composting activities on park grounds. For the last eighteen months, the local nonprofit faced the looming compost eviction in favor of playing fields, and scrambled to find replacement space. No longer. (The nonprofit will headquarter itself in Seward Park during the duration of the project.)

LESEC Compost Yard, Photo: Harriet Hirshorn

The public improvements are part of a much larger $140 million investment that will see the construction of bathrooms at Murphy Brothers Playground ($5.8 million) and a “flyover bridge” that spans the “pinch point” area of the Manhattan Greenway as it passes 14th Street along the East River.

“Our goal is to build resiliency as responsively as we can,” Mitch Schwartz, a deputy press secretary for the mayor’s office, said in a statement to NY1 on Friday. “We heard from the community, and we’re very pleased that we’re able to add even more benefits as construction continues.”

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