May 19, 2022
New Nature Center to Serve Randall’s Island Park’s 4 million Annual Visitors and Provide Permanent Home for Free Year-Round Public Programming
New York – May 19 – Today, the Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA) announced a donation from the Champlain Hudson Power Express (CHPE) to help fund the construction of a new Nature Center on Randall’s Island. The $1.5M gift will allow RIPA to enhance its already important role in serving both the local community and all who visit Randall’s Island Park by expanding space in an existing historic building on the Island into classrooms, an information center, and other park-related amenities.
The Randall’s Island Park Alliance offers essential, free programming for New York City’s children and families. The new Nature Center will provide a space for programs serving young people coming mostly from Harlem and the South Bronx, including: a summer camp; the Urban Farm program, which educates students about gardening and healthy meals; the Waterfront Stewardship program, which provides hands-on environmental education for local school groups; and the Park-as-Lab program, which focuses on collaborative science and urban ecology.
“We are so excited to create the new Randall’s Island Park Nature Center, with the generous help of the Champlain Hudson Power Express team,” said RIPA President Deborah Maher. “The Center will facilitate RIPA’s ongoing stewardship of the park and enable us to continue and expand upon our comprehensive free environmental programming, focused on our neighboring communities of East Harlem and the South Bronx.”
“The Champlain Hudson Power Express team is excited about today’s announcement, which supports the Randall’s Island Park Alliance’s essential role in the lives of New York City residents,” said Hydro-Québec President and CEO Sophie Brochu and TDI CEO Don Jessome. “It is our hope that this financial support will help provide a safe, educational environment for the youth of New York, their families, and a welcoming place for visitors from around the world.”
“The Randall’s lsland Park Nature Center will be transformative for the park and the millions of visitors who explore the island annually,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The Center will provide access to the benefits that the Randall’s Island Park Alliance offers to the surrounding communities. Thank you to all who made this great project possible.”
“Randall’s Island Park is an educational resource, and the new Nature Center will create a hub for all visitors, especially those who live in neighboring communities such as East Harlem and the South Bronx,” said New York City Council Member Diana Ayala. “The park is a hidden gem that is a prime location to offer not only green open spaces but also increased access to RIPA’s free nature-based programming.”
“Randall’s Island Park connects New Yorkers with nature, and this new center will significantly enhance the free environmental programming offered – especially for kids and families from nearby East Harlem and the South Bronx,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. “We thank Champlain Hudson Power Express for their investment and look forward to our continued partnership with Randall’s Island Park Alliance as they advance this exciting project.””
About the Randall’s Island Park Alliance
The Randall’s Island Park Alliance (RIPA), founded in 1992, is a public-private partnership with the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation that seeks to realize the unique potential of 330 waterfront parkland acres anchoring Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. RIPA works with the City and local communities to provide an innovative and exciting destination through a wide range of sports venues, cultural events, and environmental exploration. As the dedicated steward of Randall’s Island Park, the Alliance sustains, maintains, develops, and programs the Park to support the well-being of all New Yorkers. The Park offers miles of waterfront pathways, almost nine acres of wetlands, an urban farm, a track and field stadium, a golf center, a 20-court tennis center, and over 60 new playing fields, as well as the Harlem River Event Site. For more information, please visit randallsisland.org.
About the Champlain Hudson Power Express
The CHPE project involves the construction of an entirely underground and underwater transmission line spanning approximately 339 miles between the Canada–U.S. border and New York City. Once built CHPE will deliver clean hydropower. The permitted CHPE is estimated to create more than 1,400 jobs during construction, with a commitment to use union labor.