Lafayette students, faculty, and staff,
Easton and surrounding area community members,
as well as the City of Easton’s Mayor Panto
came together for an extraordinary trip to the South Bronx on October 30, 2009 to experience the Sustainable South Bronx.

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These photos show a sample of what was seen on the “Toxic Tour” through the South Bronx park projects. The tour was facilitated by environmental justice advocate, economic consultant, and founder of the Sustainable South Bronx- Majora Carter. Visitors are treated to multiple oases along their journey.

The tour begins at the Sustainable South Bronx headquarters, and takes visitors through the Bronx streets where visitors breathe in the truck exhaust and noise of the city.  In the chaos visitors are barely able to hear their extremely knowledgeable guide.

The first leg of the journey passes a juvenile detention facility that sits alongside both busy truck routes and residential neighborhoods, giving the first taste of the dichotomy of the city’s “layout.” The first leg ends with a literal breath of fresh air at the Tiffany Street Pier and the Floating Pool.

The journey continues along the Bronx streets passing junk yards and garbage dumps, where workers without masks spend the day amidst dust and flying debris. Further along are green walls and murals that stretch for a few blocks. The green walls are similar to green roofs. Vine vegetation is employed to break up the walls and mitigate heat and water runoff.

Visitors soon pass a school and the NYC Terminal Produce Market on the way to the next city sanctuary- Hunts Point Riverside Park. Here, residents can enjoy the park, or take a boat onto the Bronx River, which during this particular tour was edged by vegetation drenched in reds, greens, and golds.

The last leg of the walking tour brings visitors to the Points Cafe for a freshly prepared gourmet-style lunch. The cafe is situated within The Point Community Development Corporation– a non-profit group dedicated to youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of the South Bronx, which was bustling with children during this visit. After lunch the tour is joined by a speaker who spoke about his experiences in the Bronx.

After taking a short bus ride, visitors embark upon the last leg of the journey- the brand new, (as of October 30, 2009), Concrete Plant Park. The area was once home to a concrete batch mix plant, and had been abandoned. What was once an eyesore is now a lush river-view park.

Majora Carter and Sustainable South Bronx have made invaluable contributions to this community.

Photos courtesy of Ms. Sara Kreisel
Administrative Coordinator of Environmental Science and Environmental Studies