By Jason Cohen
April 6, 2021
As $84 million was slashed to the Parks Department in 2020, trash has been piling up throughout the city. Among the places that have been dirty is Pelham Parkway.
Roxanne Delgado, founder of the Friends of Pelham Parkway, told the Bronx Times that since June of last year that she has been emptying out overfilled trash cans in the neighborhood. The majority of the excess refuse is located at Pelham Parkway North between White Plains Rd. and Williamsbridge Road.
She feels that Parks is not maintaining the area and the issue will only worsen as the weather gets warmer.
“Pelham Parkway is not a park,” Delgado said. “NYC Parks agency prioritized playgrounds, beaches, parks. Parkway and green streets are the bottom of their priorities. Yet Pelham Parkway is actively used by many residents yet denied the amenities needed as more trash cans, no barbecuing signs and regular maintenance.”
Delgado pointed out she is a staunch supporter of New Yorker for Parks’ Play Fair for Parks, which she hopes would help get adequate maintenance funding. But, she feels this is about more than money and this area needs to be taken better care of by the city.
A Parks Department spokesman acknowledged this past year has been challenging, but noted that Parks staff empty the trash cans at Pelham Parkway at least once a day.
While that area is highly populated, there has also been increase in illegal dumping.
“We appreciate that the local Friends of group has recognized the uptick in illegally dumped domestic and left-behind trash, and that they join the hundreds of other groups across the city that support our hard working staff who tirelessly work to keep our parks clean with park clean ups and other volunteer activities to help maintain so they are beautiful for all to enjoy,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman explained that Parks expects a continued increase in patrons and waste this summer and are re-launching its Anti-Litter campaign this year echoing it’s message again: “New Yorkers, show your park some love. Put trash in a bag or can—or take it with you.”
All spring and summer, New Yorkers will see more than 150 bright orange trash corrals installed in 93 parks across the city, anti-litter ads on bus shelters, in grocery stores and at park entrances, opportunities to volunteer to beautify parks and more.
New this year, Parks has launched a pilot program, the Jr. Litter League, a friendly park stewardship competition for youth ages 10 plus. Teams will engage in self guided park clean ups from April 1 to June 1, with Parks providing a toolkit with clean up guidance, background info, and more. The weight of trash collected reported by each group will be recorded and citywide winners will be announced at the end of competition.