The Shoelace Master Plan project is a community effort!
Read below to learn more about the outreach efforts that have been integral to
the formation of the Master Plan.

Youth Design Team Meetings - March 2009

Ideas and experiences of children and teenagers are a central part of the Master Planning process. Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, environmental educators and staff from the Bronx River Alliance met with the Shoelace Park Youth Design Team twice during the month of March. The youth are from three Bronx neighborhood schools: Bronx Lab, Bronx High School of Computers and Technology and The Learning Tree Cultural Preparatory School.

On March 12th the students and designers went on a field trip to Shoelace Park (and Fort Knox) to prepare for a design workshop the following week. The students explained to the designers how they use the park and what they would like to see in the future. In exchange, the designers taught the students about the park's history, showed them the effects of flooding, demonstrated how to measure a tree's caliper and introduced them to the planning process.

On March 18th the students and designers participated in a design workshop or charrette at The Learning Tree. The afternoon was divided into three parts.

  1. As a warm-up exercise, the students created a word cloud that described how they viewed the park today and what they would like to see in the future.

  2. To understand the natural environment, the designers and students worked together to create analysis diagrams on ten feet long aerial photographs of the park. The 100-year floodplain, the historic roadbed of the Bronx River Parkway, playgrounds and access points were mapped and discussed.

  3. Lastly, the students and designers divided into two groups and created idea plans that reflected their new understanding of the park. The students were taught how to measure with engineering scales and each group pinned up their plan and presented their ideas to the group.

    The sketch below is from one of the two plans.

Mathews Nielsen then took the information drawn on by each group and created the plans you see below.

View | Download

View | Download

Community Workshop #1 - April 2009

A team of a dozen designers and facilitators worked with representatives from the community on April 7th at the Bronx Community Board 12 office located at 4101 White Plains Road. The meeting lasted from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. and will be followed by a second workshop on June 9th at the same location. The meeting lasted from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

The goals of the workshop were to introduce the park master planning process to the community, provide an overview of the whole park environment and to understand how the community uses the area now and what they value in the park. After a brief slide presentation by the design team, the group divided into three design tables and the participants shared ideas for changes they want to see in the near term and then over the next 10 - 20 years. These ideas and existing condition information were mapped and presented by a community resident to everyone at the end of the evening. Mathews Nielsen will use the information gained here and at the Youth Team meetings to guide the design plans which will be presented on June 9th.

The three plans below are diagrams created by Mathews Nielsen that highlight the information shared and received by each group.

View | Download

View | Download

View | Download

Shoelace Park Master Plan

View | Download (5MB)

View | Download (5MB)

The Master Plan for Shoelace Park on the Bronx River Greenway was completed in
February 2010.