Posts Tagged ‘Riverbank State Park’

The city park built to hide a sewage plant

June 14, 2012

Okay, so massive smokestacks loom on top of a platform surrounded by lush trees and flowers.

But other than that, you might never know that Riverbank State Park, along the Hudson River in Harlem, masks an industrial secret.

The park’s expansive lawn, pools, and ball fields were built in the late 1980s on top of the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, which handles 125 million gallons of sewage daily.

With so much waste flowing around the park, does it reek? Some residents complained of a rotten-egg odor when it opened in 1993, but the stench seems to have gone away.

Of course, there are other environmental risks—like fire. In 2011, a four-alarm blaze that started in the treatment plant sent 30-foot plumes of smoke into the air and forced park-goers to evacuate.

Aside from that, it’s a lovely, clean park with a fantastic view of the Hudson—one that’s worth the trip to 145th Street to see.

[Bottom photo: the park from New Jersey, via Wikipedia]