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SWINDLER COVE, Sherman Creek PARK

Location: Harlem River Drive & Dyckman Street at 10th Avenue, Inwood/Washington Heights, Manhattan
Public Transportation: Take the 1 train to Dyckman Street, walk east on Dyckman Street

Nestled in Northern Manhattan, Swindler Cove at Sherman Creek Park represents the crown jewel of New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) public park projects. Sherman Creek Park, a former illegal dumping site, began as a shore cleanup and now encompasses five beautifully reclaimed acres along the Harlem River – including Swindler Cove, the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, and Riley-Levin Children's Garden; an additional 15 acres of completed and pending development, including the esplanade, renovated shoreline and Sherman Creek; and NYRP’s Cherry Tree planting project along the Harlem River Drive. Opened to the public in August 2003, Swindler Cove represents the full spectrum of NYRP's mission to restore open space as a catalyst for community revitalization and environmental conservation.

An oasis of native natural habitats, Swindler Cove features an urban forest, one of the only saltwater marshes on the island of Manhattan’s shoreline and an abundance of wildlife to explore and experience along the Harlem Riverfront. Today, thousands of children from neighboring P.S. 5, other New York City schools and youth from the neighboring New York City Housing Authority’s Dyckman Houses development participate in a wide spectrum of environmental educational programming while using Swindler Cove as an outdoor classroom.

From 1996 to 1999, NYRP removed tons of garbage, rusted-out cars, sunken boats and construction debris from this waterfront site. Then, in 1999 – in partnership with the State of New York Department of Transportation and acclaimed landscape designer Billie Cohen – NYRP transformed the land into a lush array of restored woodlands, wetlands, native plantings and a freshwater pond, accented by a gracious pathway. In 2005, NYRP launched efforts to further restore the environmental health of community residents and expand public access to Sherman Creek as a cooperative venture with the City of New York Department of City Planning. Future phases of this expansion include NYRP’s construction of an all-purpose environmental education facility – the Sherman Creek Center – as well as numerous city agency-sponsored improvements.