Sherman Creek Park
SUMMER: Monday - Sunday, 8:00 am - 8:00 pm*
SPRING/FALL: Monday - Sunday, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm*
WINTER: Monday - Sunday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm*
*Call 212-333-2552 for hours during holidays and inclement weather.
At a Glance
The remarkable thing that NYRP has done over the years is to take on parks that other people run away from. There's nothing NYRP won't do and no neighborhood it won't go into. Together, working with Bette and her organization, we've accomplished some real miracles.Adrian Benepe Former Commissioner, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
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 and renovated shoreline with plans for a state-of-the-art outdoor education center and additional boating facility; and the Harlem River Speedway comprised of the esplanade, bike path, and our Cherry Tree planting project framing the Harlem River Drive.
Serving as the center of our education programs and volunteer opportunities, Sherman Creek serves to demonstrate the sustainable management of public lands in an under-resourced community—from hosting a major compost site in Northern Manhattan to implementing organic gardening techniques and best horticultural practices on a daily basis.
NYRP’s work in Sherman Creek and the surrounding landscape recognizes the remarkable value of natural resources found in Northern Manhattan and works to create improved access to and management of the diverse natural communities of the region.
Our vision for Sherman Creek Park includes improved access to the Harlem River waterfront, through both the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse and plans for a new outdoor education center and boating facility—echoing New York City’s move to improve waterfront development and long-term sustainability.
NYRP is responsible for conceiving, developing, executing and maintaining the vibrant and versatile Swindler Cove at Sherman Creek Park – a former illegal dumping site transformed by NYRP into a gorgeous green space. The 5 acre space is home to the Riley Levin Children’s Garden.
Swindler Cove represents the crown jewel of New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) public park projects. 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.
In 1999, in partnership with the State of New York Department of Transportation and acclaimed landscape designer Billie Cohen – NYRP transformed the land into an oasis of native natural habitats with a lush array of restored woodlands, wetlands, native plantings and a freshwater pond, accented by a gracious pathway.
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.
Nestled in the heart of Swindler Cove, the Riley Levin Children’s Garden operates as one of the only community gardens in Northern Manhattan. Read more.
Long before the city geared long-term plans for a sustainable future towards increasing waterfront development and accessibility—NYRP had the foresight to recognize the significance of the Harlem River to the Inwood/Harlem community. After clearing the pathway to access the river, NYRP opened the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse – a floating oasis on the Harlem River – in June 2004. The boathouse is now home to our non-profit partner, Row New York. At the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse, Row NY provides young people from New York City’s under-resourced communities with rowing programs that instill a sense of pride, motivation and life skills that often lead participants to college, many on rowing and academic scholarships. Learn more about Row New York programs for youth and adults.
The idea for a recreational community boathouse first came to NYRP Founder Bette Midler when she learned that many academic and athletic scholarships being made available to Upper Manhattan high school students who participated in rowing programs were being unused due to the lack of local programs. In 1998, NYRP engaged celebrated architect Robert A.M. Stern to design the Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse – the first community boathouse of its kind on the river in over 100 years.
The unique structure was built with lead support from the Peter Jay Sharp Foundation. When finished in 2003 the firm of Foglietta & Son worked for another year to complete assembly. Armand LeGardeur, a former architect with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, shepherded the boathouse through this complex process and contributed some of his renowned Victorian designs to the structure’s graceful aesthetic.
In response to then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposition to increase resilience of infrastructure citywide, NYRP invited eight emerging NYC-based architecture firms to participate in a competition to design a state-of-the-art, flood-resistant outdoor recreation and learning center. In December 2013, NYRP announced architecture firm Bade Stageberg Cox (BSC) as the winner.
Currently under construction, the Pavilion’s site, currently known as the “Former Boat Club Site,” is a flood plain zone frequently inundated by storms and tides. With sustainable design and layout, and porous building materials that complement the natural environment, BSC’s vision outfits the flood plain with permeable landscaping and learning stations.
The design consists of two buildings, an open classroom and a boat storage building, situated along the site’s newly restored shoreline. NYRP educators will expand programming with interactive curriculum that encompasses ecological field study with local youth. The Pavilion will increase access to the waterfront, promote environmental stewardship and education, and revive recreational rowing, once vibrant in this part of the Harlem River.
The Thompson Family Foundation has committed to funding the full construction costs of this final piece of Sherman Creek Project. The foundation’s $4.4 million grant is a testament to the love of the late Wade Thompson and his family for New York City.