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The Bronx River / Image Credit: Bronx Council on Environmental Equality

An article in Takepart.com has singled out the Bronx and the Bronx River Alliance, giving us global recognition on our conversation efforts, particularly in relation to reintroducing wildlife into the Bronx ecosystem.

We are also the ONLY American city on the list!

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Below is an excerpt from the article:

“…it may seem contradictory to suggest that cities can also be part of the solution. But conservationists, who used to focus on protecting landscapes that were pristine and full of wildlife, now often work instead to improve the margins—to make roadsides, backyards, idle fields, and working waterfronts wildlife-friendly. They argue that with a little effort, cities can provide habitat for birds, butterflies, pollinators, and other creatures great and small. According to this line of thinking, re-wilding the cities will be better not just for wildlife but for the cities. The idea is that the metropolis is a far richer place to live—more magical even—to the extent that it is also a zoopolis.”

#6. My favorite case study is New York City’s Bronx River, for very personal reasons. My father grew up on the banks of the river in the 1920s, and the stories he told were all about going out on the water with his Italian-immigrant grandfather to gather botanicals and to hunt. It was still a wild river then. (In the magical stories my father passed down to his children and grandchildren, it was inhabited not just by a variety of wildlife but also by a menagerie of imaginary creatures, led by a walking, talking green melon ball named the Growly.)

For much of the rest of the 20th century, the Bronx River became a ruin of rusting bedsprings and junked cars, along with sewage and industrial pollution. But an extensive cleanup effort by the Bronx River Alliance and other groups has restored the eight-mile-long lower river, with turtles, alewives, glass eels, great blue herons, and other species back at home there. Beavers returned in 2007—after an absence of several hundred years. City programs now focus on making the river a source of green pleasure for neighboring residents, many of them, like my great-grandfather, immigrants.  

The restored habitat is providing homes for wildlife—but it’s no doubt also producing new stories to entertain children, and to be passed down for generations. That makes the city a much richer and more magical place for everyone.”

Male sure to read the entire article and see who the 5 other cities are and what they’re doing: The Awesome Things These 6 Cities Are Doing For Wildlife.

A big thank you to the Bronx River Alliance for all the hard work that they do and for shining a positive global spotlight on our beloved borough.

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