Hudson River Park, the longest waterfront park in the United States, has transformed five miles of decaying piers and parking lots along Manhattan's West side into a beloved, urban recreational paradise. Attracting 17 million visits each year, the Park offers a myriad of recreational and educational activities for local residents and visitors alike, and plays a critical role in protecting the Hudson River environment itself.
In its brief history, Hudson River Park has also served as an important catalyst for economic development and job creation. Over the past decade, it has attracted $3 billion in new construction at 94 new buildings in adjacent neighborhoods. The inspiration for numerous waterfront parks, city- and nation-wide, Hudson River Park represents the next great era in the history of urban parks -- the birth of the waterfront park.
The Hudson River Park Trust was created by State legislation to serve as a unique city-state entity overseeing the design, construction and operation of Park. The Trust does not receive any public operating monies, relying instead on income generated within the Park as well as private support for 100% of its annual operating budget.
In order to ensure the future success and ongoing sustainability of the Park, the Hudson River Park Trust works alongside Friends of Hudson River Park, which serves as its primary advocacy, support, and fundraising partner.
In 1999, the Trust began the massive effort to begin repairing and rebuilding the Park in sections. Different architectural teams work on each section to provide design experiences that enhance the unique and vibrant neighborhoods bordering the park – all the while maintaining the feeling of a unified whole.
Today, people visit Hudson River Park to cycle the busiest bikeway in America, to sunbathe on green beaches, and to connect with the river. More than 135,000 people enjoyed free concerts, movies and dances here last summer. Over 400,000 people of all ages play on the Park's beloved athletic fields and courts. And 7,500 children participate in free educational programming each year.
Hudson River Park is deeply loved and appreciated by New Yorkers not only for the magnificent open space it provides, but also because it serves so many needs.