THE POINT uses the lens of environmental justice, youth development and arts and culture to engage individuals from Hunts Point in the effort to create a more livable community and generate economic opportunity. THE POINT is a key player in several advocacy coalitions and initiatives including:
Campaign to Decommission the Sheridan Expressway
A 1.25-mile, underutilized highway that connects Bruckner Boulevard to the Cross Bronx Expressway, the Sheridan is one of four expressways that has contributed to the blight, disinvestment and public health problems plaguing the South Bronx. In collaboration with the Southern Bronx Watershed Alliance (SBRWA), THE POINT is helping advocate for the Hunts Point community to decommission the Sheridan.
Hunts Point Monitoring and Control Committee (HPMCC)
THE POINT advocates on behalf of the Hunts Point community by representing community interests in the forum of urban planning and environmental justice. THE POINT is an active member of the HPMCC, which oversees the community mitigation process in light of a multi-billion dollar upgrade to the DEP water treatment facility on the peninsul waterfront.
South Bronx Greenway
THE POINT is a key planner for this new 6-mile bicycle and pedestrian route linking the Bronx River corridor with Randall’s Island and the East Side of Manhattan. THE POINT’s Hunts Point Riverside Campus for Arts and the Environment is the first stop on the South Bronx Greenway and is adjacent to the Hunts Point Riverside Park. The goal of the site is to enhance the community’s access to the Bronx River while creating new opportunities for the arts and environment beyond the reach of THE POINT’s door.
South Bronx Waterfront Brownfield Opportunity Act (BOA)
This initiative is aimed at converting South Bronx brownfield sites to environmentally sound use that will be accessible to the public and promote economic growth in the community. Through the BOA, THE POINT is working with groups including the Governor’s Inter-Agency Task Force on Enviornmental Justice and the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance to develop policy initiatives that will support similar brownfield projects.
Community Development Milestones
South Bronx Community Green Roof (COMING IN 2011!)
The NYS Office of the Attorney General and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation have officially awarded THE POINT support for its green roof! With this assistance, THE POINT plans to install an extensive green roof and smaller intensive green roof that will serve as an outdoor classroom at its main facility at 940 Garrison Avenue.
South Bronx Greenway 2010 Projects
The Greenway’s Phase 1 Projects are underway including the Lafayette Avenue Paseo, a stretch of greenway, which runs from Hunts Point Avenue to the Hunts Point Riverside Park and Hunts Point Landing on Farragut Avenue, a new waterfront destination that will offer a venue for community activities and waterfront experiences.
Following over a decade of organizing by Hunts Point residents, elected officials, and local organizations including THE POINT with the assistance of Colombia Environmental Law Clinic, the city cancelled their contract with the NY Organic Fertilizer Company. As of 2010, NYOFCO is shutting their doors for good! NYOFCO has been a major polluter contributing to poor air quality and subsequent public health issues in the South Bronx. Congratulations to Mothers on the Move for reaching a long awaited settlement on their public nuisance suit with the NYC DEP. These victories are a collective breath of fresh air for Hunts Point!
Community in Unity Campaign Against the Oakpoint Jail
THE POINT joined other community advocates to oppose the NYC Department of Corrections’ plan to build a new jail in Hunts Point. As of 2010, not only has the city agreed to look elsewhere to build the new facility, but the 870-bed jail barge that is now moored near the Fulton Fish Market will also be relocated to Riker’s Island!
South Brother Island
Also in 2007, THE POINT and Congressman Jose E. Serrano’s Office with support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association helped negotiate the sale of the privately-owned South Brother Island to New York City. Located in the East River, this undeveloped island is a nesting sanctuary for birds including herons, cormorants and egrets. It is now under the care of the NYC Parks Department and the Bronx Zoo.
Hunts Point Monitoring & Control Committee (HPMCC)
In 2007, THE POINT helped the Hunts Point community negotiate a $22 million settlement as part of the HPMCC with the NYS Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The charrette process was the first of its kind held by the DEP, which is now considering it as a model for engaging the community in decision-makign processes. In 2008, THE POINT’s President and Chief Operating Officer Maria Torres was also named Chairperson of the HPMCC.
Increased Community Green Space
In 2006, THE POINT completed the remediation process at this location of a former fur factory at 1399 Lafayette Avenue and officially named it the Hunts Point Riverside Campus for Arts and the Environment. The goal of the site is to enhance the community’s access to the Bronx River while creating new opportunities for the arts beyond the reach of THE POINT’s door. This same year, the Hunts Point community celebrated the opening of Barretto Point Park and the Hunts Point Riverside Park, a triumph for neigborhood residents and organizations like THE POINT who had been advocating for increased green space for over a decade.
South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study
From 2001 – 2006, THE POINT particpated in the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study in partnership with Congressman Jose E. Serrano’s Office, NYU Wagner, NYU School of Medicine and three other community partners: Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Nos Quedmaos and The Sports Foundation. Aimed at better understanding how air quality affects the health of residents in neighbohoods like Hunts Point, the concluded study was featured in the New York Times Metro section on October 22, 2006. Since then, THE POINT and its partners have been working to take the findings of the study and translate then into long-term policy recommendations.