CHPC was glad to be on hand for the opening and dedication of Hayden Lord Park in the West Bronx. The park is the capstone of a development led by the Bronx Pro Group and the DreamYard Project. Situated on NYCHA land, the park accompanies the completion of more than 500 affordable housing units at the University Consolidated site. It adds communal outdoor space to this revitalized neighborhood.

Tim Lord, Co-Executive Director of DreamYard, opened the proceedings. His touching introduction dedicated the park to his late son, whose memory the park honors. The dozens in attendance appreciated his heartfelt remarks, which were followed by original poetry from a local student and the performance of a nearby middle school choir.

Samantha Magistro of Bronx Pro, a CHPC Board member, hosted the ceremony. Comments from elected officials like Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., and Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson complemented those from representatives of the New York City Housing Authority, Housing Development Corporation, Enterprise Community Partners and JP Morgan Chase, as well as some of the artists whose work shapes the park. The speakers repeatedly stressed the collaboration that went into the development of the park, spotlighting the vision of Bronx Pro as the galvanizing force behind it.

Hayden Lord Park will serve as an active hub of the arts in the West Bronx. Indeed, at the end of the dedication, attendees were invited to contribute a mosaic tile to one of the park’s walls. The space will operate as “an organic art farm,” helping enrich the quality and diversity of life in the West Bronx.