BRONX, NY - In partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers New York District is completing an ecosystem restoration project on a 15-acre portion of Soundview Park, a 205-acre area in the Bronx.

"The project is returning some of the park's lost marshland and creating an upland meadow and forest," said Project Manager Ronald Pinzon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York. "This will provide a healthy ecosystem for wildlife to flourish and an aesthetically pleasing and safe place for residents."

The park, which lines one and a half miles of the Bronx River with a clear view of the Manhattan skyline, was built on a former landfill. Before it became a landfill it was a network of 80-acres of salt marsh, 40-acres of open water, upland meadows and oak-hickory forests.

The Army Corps began construction on the Soundview Park Ecosystem Restoration Project in the fall of 2011 in collaboration with the NYC Parks Department. Additional agencies providing support include the NY State Department of State with funds from the Clean Water - Clean Air Bond Act, the NYC Department of Sanitation, which provided mitigation funding
and the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation.

For the 15-acre project, the Army Corps excavated approximately 52,000 cubic yards of soil and fill material from one area of the site to create a 3-acre marsh where there hadn't been one before. This material was placed northwest of the marsh area to create an upland meadow and forest. The material was placed on six acres of what will be a 12-acre upland meadow and forest.

The soil in both areas was graded to proper elevations, invasive plant species, including the Common Reed and Knotweed, were cleared and then a bed of clean compost, soil and sand was placed. The remaining six acres was cleared and provided a bed of clean compost, soil, and sand.

The marsh area was planted with six species of grasses as well as several species of upland shrubs, trees and an herbaceous mix. The upland meadow and forest will be planted with 1,000 upland shrubs and 5,000 upland trees.

In addition, an overlook area was created by the marsh that has an educational sign that informs residents about the marsh, its habitat, and animal residents.

Improving the ecosystem will provide a habitat for birds and marine life and improve the water quality. Wildlife has already been spotted including Mud Snails, Fiddler Crabs, Horseshoe Crabs, Great Blue Herring and Egrets.

The project area is expected to be open to the public within two years after all of the plant's roots have taken hold.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strives to protect, sustain, and improve the natural and man-made environment of our nation, and is committed to compliance with applicable environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders. Sustainability is not only part of the Corps' decision processes, but is also part of its culture.