Boathouse marsh? What’s that?
You may already be aware of the new Campbell Sports Center, a new athletic complex being built next to Baker Field and scheduled to be finished (for all intents and purposes) by Homecoming on Oct. 20, but did you know anything about the upcoming Boathouse Marsh? Gina Lee does, and she writes about it in today’s paper.
Don’t be fooled by the term “boathouse”—this isn’t about athletes. Instead, the marsh will primarily be a 40,000-square-foot waterfront park to be used by the public. In constructing this, Columbia has agreed to restore the surrounding wetland areas (as opposed to just building a new sports complex and gobbling up all of the waterfront land for private use, which city zoning would not allow).
Some benefits of the marsh:
“Boathouse Marsh is intended to build on the natural history of the site and enrich the biodiversity of the Harlem River valley,” according to the Columbia facilities website. The plants proposed for the marsh are meant to provide habitat for wildlife, improve the aesthetic of the riverbank, and improve the quality of water in the river by filtering storm water.
In addition to building the park, Columbia will provide community access to 11,000 square feet of city-owned land adjacent to Baker Field. Columbia will also transfer ownership of a dock at Baker Field to the city and maintain the dock for community access to small non-motorized boats.
Executive Vice President of Facilities Joe Ienuso has not provided a precise completion date for the marsh, but he insists that it will be “substantially complete in the fall of this year.”
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