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Kicking off 2023: Looking Back with Gratitude and Ahead With Excitement

As we gear up for a big 2023 in Hudson River Park — featuring major openings, 25th anniversary fun and more — we’re celebrating some of the successes that have made this last year in the Park so special.

Support from our Elected Officials 

Hudson River Park is incredibly fortunate to be represented by elected officials who work hard to secure funding for open space and the environment. As a self-funded park, the financial support we receive from our government partners is especially crucial to our work.Late last year, we received the fantastic news that U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as Congressman Jerry Nadler, were able to include $750,000 for Hudson River Park’s growing habitat enhancement and community science initiatives in the federal budget! That funding is in addition to the $1 million secured by Congressman Nadler last March for pedestrian safety and security enhancements throughout the Park.

Through our City’s budget process, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Council Member Chris Marte provided $225,000 for the Pier 26 Science Playground, which broke ground in December 2022. Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine also joined with Council Member Erik Bottcher to provide $300,000 for lighting enhancements in the Park, which will help expand our safety lighting features from Pier 34 to Pier 59.

We are grateful to Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, and all of our elected officials for their ongoing efforts to help make Hudson River Park a welcoming and beautiful place!

We Created and Monitored New Habitat

In 2022, we added 20 million juvenile oysters to Hudson River Park’s 400-acre Estuarine Sanctuary via underwater habitat enhancements north of Gansevoort Peninsula. These new additions joined the 11 million oysters we restored to Park waters as part of the 2021 Tribeca Habitat Enhancement Project. When our River Project team monitored the progress of the Tribeca enhancements over the summer, we saw significant growth — “a hopeful sign in the Hudson River.” You can also check out the exciting growth of the Gansevoort Peninsula enhancements captured by our partners at Billion Oyster Project.

Ecologically critical filter-feeders, oysters support life in our local waterways by building habitat as well as cleaning our waterways and protecting our shorelines. Our River Project team works with students, volunteers and the public to measure the health of our local oyster populations, which you can read more about here. In addition to providing encrusting organisms like oysters and mussels somewhere to settle, these habitat enhancement features have created additional surfaces at the bottom of  the Hudson River  that offer mobile organisms like crabs and juvenile fish important important hiding places. In the year to come, we look forward to continuing to monitor the progress of these habitats as they grow and thrive. 

We Expanded Access to the Hudson River as an Outdoor Classroom and Living Laboratory

Hudson River Park’s sanctuary waters are the heart and soul of the Park, and last year our River Project team continued to enhance the ways New Yorkers of all ages can connect with marine and environmental science while discovering the wonders of the Hudson River.

In 2022, NYC students of all ages explored the Hudson River and Park through enriching and fun hands-on science activities. For the first time this year, our two-day SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival hosted a day exclusively for NYC schools, welcoming 1,000 students  to dive into marine science with opportunities to interact with wildlife and learn about the work of our River Project team and a roster of local science partners. This full-day experience provided an exciting addition to our year-round lineup of field trips for students of all ages across New York City. For older students, our 2022 Student Leadership Program offered paid summer research opportunities to female-identifying high school students and college mentors, granting these students the chance to build experience and confidence in STEM. 

Community members of all ages also had the chance to discover the  importance of the Hudson River through public programs and events. During open hours at our Pier 40 Wetlab, the Park’s flow-through aquarium system, River Project staff introduced visitors to dozens of species of New York fish and invertebrates all caught within the Park as part of an ongoing ecological survey. The Ask a Scientist series expanded this year, through partnerships with the Secret Science Club and Nerd Nite, which brought local STEM and marine science experts to the Wetlab for this series of informative yet entertaining events. 2022 also saw the return of long-time favorite Big City Fishing which invited the public to explore local biodiversity through catch and release fishing l at various Park locations. And tours of the Pier 26 Tide Deck granted members of the public a close-up view of this engineered rocky tidal landscape and the wildlife it supports.

We Found Community Through Music and Movement

For the first time since 2019, we were able to host a full line up of in-Park events in 2022 — including welcoming back two of our major signature celebrations. We kicked off the summer with the spectacular return of the Hudson River Dance Festival at Pier 63 and more than 13,000 of you joined us for Blues BBQ in August at Pier 76. This pier became the popular new home for our Dance at HRPK participatory dance series and our Bike Skills 101 program in partnership with Bike New York

Our free public programs also thrived in long-time favorite destinations. All summer long, music lovers savored outdoor concerts at Jazz at Pier 84, presented in partnership with the Jazz Foundation of America, and Sunset on the Hudson. Attendance at the latter, long-standing concert series in particular saw a growth in popularity this year — with its Friday night concerts drawing five times as many Park-goers to Pier 45 as in 2021. And our popular Healthy on the Hudson series, presented by lululemon, also kept New Yorkers active throughout the season with free fitness offerings every week of the season. Our 2022 season was also special because community support helped make it possible, with events presented in part by Hudson River Park Friends. We can’t wait to keep the fun going in 2023!

We Brought New Yorkers Together To Keep Our Public Green Space Beautiful and Sustainable

Volunteer support is essential to keeping Hudson River Park the beautiful, thriving green space we all love every year. In spring, summer and fall, you’ll find volunteers trimming, weeding and planting in gardens all along the Park, taking part in shoreline cleanups, as well as helping out at major Park events. And you’ll find Community Compost Volunteers dedicating their efforts year-round! 

In 2022, our Volunteer Program participants and sponsors made an unprecedented impact, dedicating more time than ever before — 7,000 volunteer hours — across 97 volunteer projects, more than we’ve hosted in any prior season. We’re grateful to the community of volunteers who help keep the Park growing gorgeous for all who enjoy it and to our Volunteer Program’s Presenting Sponsors Citi, Supporting Sponsors Colgate-Palmolive and New York Cruise Lines, and Food and Beverage Providers Liberty Coca-Cola and Go-Go Squeez for helping us keep New Yorkers connected with their west side backyard. We can’t wait to roll up our sleeves for another year of giving back in 2023!

We Invited Everyone to Enjoy the Best New Rooftop Green Space in NYC

In April 2022, Hudson River Park opened nearly two acres of public rooftop open space at historic Pier 57, featuring spectacular year-round views of Little Island and New York Harbor. In 2023, more exciting features of this pier will open to the public, including an interactive technology-powered gallery and classroom that invites visitors of all ages to explore the local Hudson River environment, a food market curated by the James Beard Foundation and a new public living room.

With so much to be grateful for in 2022 — and a big year ahead — we look forward to celebrating more Park milestones with you! To keep up with the latest, be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.