(photo: Sandra Sider)
The grounds of the Croton watershed’s beautiful and historic Jerome Park Reservoir in the northwest Bronx will be open to the public for special limited-access recreation on the weekend of Nov. 19 and 20 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Members of the public will have the opportunity to walk or jog around the reservoir’s 2-mile perimeter.
Jerome Park Reservoir is the last stop for Croton water before it enters the Croton Water Filtration Plant. From there it goes into New York City's distribution system. The reservoir is administered by the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP). There will be a similar recreation weekend in May 2017.
The public entrance will be on the west side of Goulden Avenue, just south of 205th Street, across the street from Bronx High School of Science. There will be a security check, and no bags, cameras, or cell phones will be allowed inside. Cell phones can be checked with DEP, but not other items.
Tours: The Jerome Park Conservancy will give a tour of the reservoir at noon on both days. The two-mile perimeter walk will take about an hour and a half. The group will meet just inside the security entrance (see above). Please send an email to Anne Marie Garti - firstname.lastname@example.org- if you plan to attend, and on which day(s).
Robert Kornfeld, Jr., a preservation architect and vice-president of Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct, will lead the tour on Saturday, Nov. 19. Mr. Kornfeld researched the history of the Jerome Park Reservoir in the late 1990s, and the preservation report he drafted for the Jerome Park Conservancy led to the listing of the reservoir on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. His tour will focus on the development of the reservoir in the 19th century and its place in the Croton water supply system during the 20th century. Important features will be described as the group walks around the edge of the water.
Anne Marie Garti, a founding member of the Jerome Park Conservancy, will lead the tour on Sunday, November 20. She will discuss the reservoir's historic role as a reservoir park, and will describe how the reservoir functioned before construction of the Croton Water Treatment Plant and how it functions now. She will also explain the importance of the reservoir to the surrounding community.
Education Program: This fall DEP will continue its partnership with schools near the reservoir to provide a pilot education program on the city's drinking water system. The program includes teacher professional development, classroom visits, and guided tours of the reservoir grounds. Since last winter, more than 1,200 students from Bronx High School of Science, DeWitt Clinton High School, P.S. 8, P.S. 86, and P.S. 95 have taken part in the program.