Hudson River Park is our shared backyard, but we each find places along the Park’s four miles that feel particularly our own. Perhaps yours is a riverfront bench where your family watches sunsets on summer nights. Maybe it’s a grove of trees along your favorite pier that offer shade on afternoon walks. With opportunities to adopt benches, trees, carousel animals and garden displays, Hudson River Park’s Dedications Program offers a wonderful way to celebrate the joy you share with loved ones in HRPK while meaningfully supporting your riverside backyard.
We love to hear the stories behind Park dedications, each a meaningful piece of lives shared and enjoyed along our riverfront. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we’re sharing one of our favorites: how dedicating a bench in Hudson River Park became part of a milestone moment in the lives of two Park supporters.
Chelsea residents Dana and Ian initially connected via the dating app “The League.” Once matched, Ian reached out to the one mutual friend they shared, and, in his words, “the match from the League quickly became the match of a lifetime.”
On a beautiful Saturday in August, Ian proposed to Dana in a way that was as perfectly New York as it was unique: by dedicating a bench along HRPK’s riverfront. We asked Ian how he chose Hudson River Park to be part of such a special moment. Read on for his story!
Ian: Figuring out how to propose to Dana was no easy task. You see, Dana is a planner so I knew I would have to catch her completely off guard. I had toyed with several ideas, and at different points Dana unknowingly nixed each of them as a possibility.
I work at Alliance Homecare and one day a client was telling us about how he wanted to do something special for his wife and he was going to dedicate a bench to her in a park. Bingo! I knew I had my plan at that moment. Dana and I live in Chelsea, and we always go for long walks along the Hudson River. A bench along the river with a plaque that said, “Dana, Will you marry me?” was it.
After reaching out about donating a bench along the Hudson River Park waterfront, I worked with Adam from Hudson River Park Friends to arrange the dedication and help set up the perfect ruse to get Dana to Hudson River Park. I told Dana that I needed her to accompany me at a work event at City Vineyard on Saturday August 10. This checked all the boxes – she’d never say no to a work event, even on a Saturday in August; she would have to dress for the occasion instead of sporting her traditional uniform of leggings and sneakers; and she’s always up for a walk down the pier.
The proposal gods were with me that day, and it was 80 degrees and sunny – once we hit the 10-minute mark from the bench, I texted Adam, and he reassured me he had everything in place. The rest is history. We can’t thank Adam and the Hudson River Park group enough for their help in making this the most memorable day.
You can find this very special bench just north of HRPK’s Pier 45. Interested in celebrating a special occasion of your own or honoring a loved one by adopting a piece of Hudson River Park? Learn more or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org