BRONX RIVER ALLIANCE INC

Bronx, NY   |  www.bronxriver.org

Mission

The Bronx River Alliance serves as a coordinated voice for the river and works in harmonious partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor and greenway so that they can be healthy ecological, recreational, educational and economic resources for the communities through which the river flows.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Ms. Linda Cox

Main address

1 Bronx River Pkwy

Bronx, NY 10462 USA

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EIN

75-3001587

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Community Coalitions (S21)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Education Program

The Education Program engages youth and adult residents in using the river as a classroom for hands-on science and environmental learning, which serves as a means of educating the public about the river, the importance of nature and conservation, and inspiring them about science. Activities include Citizen Science water quality and wildlife monitoring, canoe trips that combine education and recreation, and environmental education curriculum development. The Project works with partners such as local public and private schools and diverse environmental justice, youth development, and other community-based organizations to support the use of the Bronx River as an outdoor science classroom.

Population(s) Served

The Ecology Program engages in direct environmental restoration work through its Conservation Crew in cooperation with partners such as the NYC Parks Natural Resources Group, the New York Botanical Garden, and community groups. Activities include tree planting and riverbank stabilization, the study and restoration of wildlife migratory habitat, and the establishment and maintenance of green infrastructure to mitigate stormwater runoff. The Crew and seasonal Apprentices are drawn from low-income community residents and provided with green job training, including education about the environment and conservation practices, hands-on restoration experience, and leadership development, which they then instill in subsequent waves of trainees and volunteers.

Population(s) Served

The Greenway Program improves the physical environment along the river and increases access to it, through financing and promoting the development of park infrastructure and inter-connections, with the goal of creating a continuous strip of outdoor recreation space along the river through the heart of the Bronx. Throughout the design and development process, the Project ensures that community visions for these new spaces are retained and realized.

Population(s) Served

The Outreach Program, makes sure that local residents are aware of the opportunities offered by the improved infrastructure and programming, and helps people and other community organizations become involved. In addition to organizing volunteer engagement in the Alliance’s programs, the Outreach Program draws thousands of people to the river every year through public events, including the Amazing Bronx River Flotilla, the International Coastal Cleanup, and dozens of other activities including volunteer-led walks, clean-ups, restoration projects, movie nights, and performing arts programs.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Awards

National Water Trail 2012

National Parks Services, U.S. Department of the Interior

Environmental Quality Award 2011

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Designing the Parks Award 2011

National Parks Services, U.S. Department of the Interior

MASterworks Award 2010

Municipal Arts Society of New York

Waterfront Planning Award 2010

Waterfront Center

National Community Development Association 2017

Audrey Nelson National Achievement Award

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Bronx River Alliance conserves and promotes the Bronx River as a natural and community resource through restoration, education and advocacy.
The Bronx River Alliance's overall ecological goals for the Bronx River are to increase aquatic and riparian plant and animal biological diversity, improve water quality, and to reduce environmental stresses on the river ecosystem. The Alliance aims to improve habitat conditions for native plants and wildlife by reducing the spread of invasive species, increasing populations of native riparian plants, and increasing in-channel habitat diversity and refuge for fish in the Bronx River. Target ecosystem conditions are not necessarily based on historical, pre-development conditions, but on a new urban-natural equilibrium. The Alliance provides residents interested in careers in the green job sector an opportunity to gain skills and experience, and benefit directly from the resurgence of the river. The Alliance enhances community connections to the river through service learning opportunities, both volunteer and paid, while introducing residents to opportunities for employment in the green jobs sector by facilitating education, training and hands-on experience, while helping meet river restoration goals.
The vision for the Bronx River Greenway is to have one continuous bike/pedestrian path and linear park along the Bronx River from the mouth of the river at the East River to its source at the Kensico Dam in Westchester County. The Greenway was conceived from its inception not only as a pedestrian and bicycle route, but as a 23-mile linear park. The Bronx River Greenway will transform the lower Bronx River, as well as the communities along its banks, by developing waterfront parks for communities long deprived of open space and waterfront access, opening up a healthy corridor for walking, biking and running in communities that desperately need it.
The Education Program trains teachers, community-based educators, and scientists to use the river as a rich learning laboratory and outdoor classroom, educates the public about the river, and trains volunteers to monitor the river's conditions. The Alliance also aims to bring people to the river to experience this unique resource first-hand and learn about its rich history, communities, and environment.

The Alliance achieves its goals through four programs: Ecological Restoration & Management, the Bronx River Greenway, Education & Recreation, and Outreach.
The Ecological Restoration and Management Program protects, restores and manages the Bronx River through field work and policy leadership. Guided by the Ecology Team, comprised of scientists, community and agency representatives, the Alliance tackles the most pressing ecological issues that affect the river corridor. The Bronx River Conservation Crew has a full-time presence on the river, implementing and maintaining river and upland restoration projects. The Crew is locally-recruited, with an emphasis on creating job opportunities for Bronx residents, who in turn expose hundreds of youth each year to green career paths in their own neighborhoods.
The Greenway Program develops open spaces, restores existing parks and integrates them into a series of continuous parks and trails along the river—the Bronx River Greenway. The Alliance is uniquely structured to create common ground between government agencies and community-based organizations to develop the greenway. The Greenway Team brings together community advocates, non-profit leaders, and government agencies to interact, coordinate and move projects forward, as well as raise capital funds.
The Education & Recreation Program provides hands-on, outdoor learning opportunities for thousands of students and educators in one of the most urban and under-resourced neighborhoods in the country through three programs: Bronx River Classroom, the Bronx River Stewards Citizen Science Program, and the Wade into the Bronx River series, which includes free lectures, walks and workshops on educational topics related to the river. In addition, the Recreation Program guides thousands of New Yorkers each year on interpretive paddling adventures on the river.
The Outreach Program draws thousands of people to the river every year through public events, including the Amazing Bronx River Flotilla and the Bronx River Festival, and dozens of other activities including volunteer-led walks, clean-ups, restoration projects, movie nights and performing arts programs. The Alliance engages community-based organizations, institutions and neighborhood ambassadors to take ownership of a section along the Bronx River. These events, together with recreational programming, provide opportunities for all New Yorkers to discover—and care for—the unique slice of nature that flows through the heart of the Bronx.

The Bronx River Alliance is steadfastly committed to the idea that residents, local leaders, and community organizations must play an active role in visioning and implementing improvements to the river, and that these stakeholders should, in turn, enjoy the benefits of a restored river. The Alliance is uniquely structured to create common ground between government agencies and community based organizations to interact, coordinate and realize the river and the greenway as community assets. The Alliance provides constituents with opportunities to contribute their perspectives and skills through four interconnected programs of Education, Ecological Restoration and Management, Greenway and Outreach. Each program works together to provide guidance and support regarding the restoration of the river's ecosystem, facilitate the creation of an eight-mile greenway in the Bronx, and engage and educate the public in the importance of protecting these resources. Representatives from the Greenway Team and Ecology Teams serve on the Alliance's board of directors to represent community concerns and keep updated with programming efforts. The strength of its partnerships enables the Alliance to effectively engage community support for the river and greenway's revitalization.
The Alliance's staff is well qualified to carry out the Alliance's mission. All program managers have master's degrees and years of experience in their fields. The Conservation Crew is locally recruited and the Crew Members grow in positions of increasing responsibility. Crew Members are given training and opportunities to take courses to gain certifications. Executive Director Linda Cox brings to this work extensive experience in managing collaborations among government agencies and community groups, and in tackling long-range planning and urban issues. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Since its founding in 2001, the Alliance has accomplished the following:
Parkland: The Alliance has created 18 new acres of parkland along the river—including the award-winning Concrete Plant Park and Hunts Point Riverside Park—and improved 25 more. The newest gem is Starlight Park, a 13-acre park. The Alliance has secured and coordinated over $160 million in public funding for capital and restoration projects along the river and Greenway.
Recreation: From canoeing to cycling to historical walking tours, New Yorkers are coming back to the river. More than 12,500 people have paddled the river with the Alliance—plus thousands more also join partner organizations on river expeditions. The Alliance and its partners have opened up seven boat launches along the river, where none previously existed. In 2012, the National Park Service officially designated the Bronx River as a National Water Trail.
Habitat: Bronxites have switched from counting the number of cars pulled from the river to counting the new wildlife returning to the river—including the beaver, a New York City icon that has settled in the Bronx after a two-hundred year absence. The construction of the first fish ladder on the river in 2014 will to allow alewife herring to travel upstream for the first time in over a hundred years.
Education: Over 10,000 students have touched—and been touched by—the river. The Alliance's work with over 3,000 educators has made the river an outdoor classroom that brings a slice of nature to urban students.
Restoration: The Alliance has planted more than 100,000 trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, improving the shoreline all along the river's run through the Bronx. And the Alliance's work extends beyond the riverbanks, embracing green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and rain barrels, throughout the Bronx River watershed.
Rehabilitation: a river that was once choked with debris has been cleared of 675 tons of garbage, 89 cars and nearly 30,000 tires, appliances, bicycles, and furniture since the late 1990s.
Community: More than 10,600 volunteers have devoted more than 92,500 hours to restoring and enjoying their river, and dozens of local organizations have incorporated river restoration into their work.
Investment: The Alliance has created green jobs pipeline and provided green jobs training and youth mentoring to hundreds of Bronx residents who have sought both employment and an opportunity to improve the communities along the river
Nonetheless, there is still a lot of work to be done. There are critical missing links in the Bronx River Greenway, parts of the community is cut off from the river due to lack of access points, invasive species management continues to be an issue, several dams prohibit fish from spawning upstream, and there is opportunity for more habitat creation in and along the river.

Financials

BRONX RIVER ALLIANCE INC
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Operations

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BRONX RIVER ALLIANCE INC

Board of directors
as of 2/14/2017
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Veronica Vanterpool

Tri-State Transportation Campaign


Board co-chair

Dr. Maarten de Kadt