Green Outlook at Riverside Park


The Riverside Park Fund and the Riverside Clay Tennis Association are launching a $6 million capital campaign to transform an abandoned parking lot south of the 96th Street Red Clay Tennis Courts into a landscaped Hudson River overlook with a wildflower meadow, a sustainable park maintenance building, and a carbon neutral public restroom, using compost toilet technologies, green roofs, solar energy, rainwater collection, and recycled materials. Originally conceived by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1875, Riverside Park extends along four miles of Manhattan`s shoreline. Part of Robert Moses` larger West Side Improvement Initiative, the Park and the Henry Hudson Parkway permanently shaped the waterfront`s character. For over 25 years, the Riverside Clay Tennis Association (RCTA) has maintained the ten world-class clay tennis courts near 96th Street in Riverside Park, its members transforming the courts largely through volunteer work and fundraising. The precedent-setting Green Outlook will be a sustainable complex that addresses the environmental, practical and cultural needs of both the RCTA and surrounding area with an aim of restoring the natural health of the site. The project aims to achieve net-zero impact, prioritizing environmental stewardship and aesthetic beauty, while keeping the original, transit-oriented park in mind. A planned wildflower meadow will incorporate a raingarden, functioning as a stormwater management tool, and a bed for soil fertilized by installed composting toilets; this advanced technology would minimize the need for off-site waste disposal. The obsolete parking lot, left from Moses` automobile era, will be transformed into a meadow landscape scattered with branched sculptures, which will incorporate solar photovoltaic systems. The re-appropriation of this portion of the site offers an opportunity for restorative, native landscaping and will also be a beautiful rest stop for bikers, runners, strollers, and neighbors.