Complete with vegetable plots and educational programs, Brook Park is a lively gathering space in the South Bronx. Owned by the city, the park is operated by the Friends of Brook Park, an environmental group dedicated to engaging the community with the natural world. When the Friends decided to construct a 2500 square-foot wetland in the park, they were looking to history – a stream called Mill Brook once ran through here – and to the future: the wetland will serve as a feasible, replicable example of stormwater reuse for similar urban sites.
QRP is working closely with the Friends of Brook Park to design an easily maintainable system that will harvest rainwater from adjacent rooftops and cycle it through the wetland using solar pumps and gravity feeds. A series of ecological zones, each with its own native plant species, will provide habitat for a variety of small creatures. Stepping stones and a deck will allow children and adults to get up close and personal with the newts and frogs, bees and butterflies, fish and salamanders who will make their home here. A new walking path and picnic area will connect the wetland to the rest of the park.
In addition to educating and enchanting its visitors, Brook Park Wetland will also provide a host of environmental benefits. It will reduce storm water flow to city sewers; promote habitat and biodiversity; improve air quality; and reduce the urban heat island effect.