The lead firm behind the High Line recently completed their newest riverfront park, a self-sustaining ecosystem located on an acre of land in northern Manhattan. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, Muscota Marsh is an ecological gem featuring salt marsh and freshwater wetland zones located along the Harlem River. A recipient of the 2012 NYCDesign Awards, the park will help improve the river’s water quality by capturing and filtering stormwater runoff.
Jointly constructed by the Department of Parks & Recreation and Columbia University, Muscota Marsh’s diverse smorgasbord of native plants was designed to attract a diverse population of local fauna including ribbed mussels, leopard frogs, herons and egrets. The wetland restoration project aims to reintroduce a self-sustaining ecosystem that will evolve and strengthen over time. To give visitors a low-impact way to experience the naturalized riverbank, Field Operations designed a wooden boardwalk that wraps around the edge of the sensitive wetland.
Though Muscota Marsh will primarily be used for education, Columbia University will also add recreational amenities to the park, such as kayak and canoe access. The completion of the new riverfront park is also expected to bolster the recent surge in the popularity of nearby Inwood Hill and other northern Manhattan neighborhoods. The park will hold its opening ceremony later this spring.