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Celebrating Two Years of Choosing Park Over Plastic

This week marks the second anniversary of the Park Over Plastic initiative. As we celebrate this milestone in our parkwide movement to fight plastic pollution, we’re taking a look back at the achievements of our Park community.

Park Over Plastic has been the catalyst for many of the changes you may have noticed in the Park’s facilities, programming, research and at businesses within the Park like boathouses and restaurants over the past two years. We have tripled the number of recycling bins in the Park, developed a working group of committed Park tenants called Green Partners, eliminated single-use plastics from Park-hosted events and so much more.

Since May 2019, Hudson River Park has:

Park Facilities

  • Installed 100 recycling and landfill receptacles with biodegradable liners
  • Installed 50+ indoor and outdoor water fountains with bottle refill function
  • Largely transitioned to canned beverages in Park vending machines
  • Expanded waste management operations and tracking

Park Events

  • Eliminated single-use plastic products at Park-hosted events
  • Installed multiple mobile hydration stations with bottle refill function
  • Sought out vendors and partners committed to plastic-free concessions
  • Updated permits to reflect Park Over Plastic policy

Communication & Education

  • Developed solution-focused field trip curricula
  • Hosted action-oriented activities at public drop-in programs
  • Installed signage on Park facilities to promote awareness of the initiative
  • Shared sustainability resources and information on digital media

Plastics Research

  • Expanded volunteer shoreline cleanup sites
  • Published microplastics report in a peer-reviewed scientific journal
  • Completed a two-year study of Park Over Plastic to assess needs for future success
  • Presented research findings to local and regional science conferences

Tenant Partnerships

Tenants are businesses and organizations operating within the Park.

  • Recruited 14 tenants as Green Partners, committed to Park Over Plastic goals
  • Established a tenant working group to share resources and best practices
  • Engaged in a parkwide waste audit and interviews to support Park Over Plastic evaluation
  • Replaced plastic products with biodegradable alternatives

Though 2020 was a challenging year in so many ways, the collective effort and participation of our staff, tenants and visitors showed us that together, we can overcome obstacles and find solutions for a better, greener future in Hudson River Park. We have made great strides, and there is still much work to do to ensure a resilient and cleaner environment for the Park and its waters. Moving forward, the Park will continue to push forward sustainability actions and measures that is supported by scientific research and community engagement.

Visit here to learn more about our work towards a plastic free Park!

Watch a brief presentation about Park Over Plastic here:

For more information and resources related to Hudson River Park’s sustainability, visit our Sustainability hub.