Muscota Marsh Opening Just Weeks Away, Parks Dept. Promises

By Nigel Chiwaya on December 4, 2013 2:41pm 

 The Muscota Marsh is just weeks away from opening, Parks Department rep Jennifer Hoppa said Tuesday night.
The Muscota Marsh is just weeks away from opening, Parks Department rep Jennifer Hoppa said Tuesday night.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

INWOOD — The long-awaited Columbia waterfront park Muscota Marsh is just weeks away from opening, a Parks Department representative said Tuesday night.

Northern Manhattan Parks head Jennifer Hoppa told Community Board 12 that a single legal agreement is all that is keeping the park, located at the corner of 218th and Indian road, from completion. 

"There's one last legal agreement that we're waiting on the law department for, but it looks like it's a few days for everything to be resolved," Hoppa said, though she declined to provide details about the agreement. Hoppa said it wouldn't be long before the park was opened, saying: "A few weeks, max."

The long-awaited park is one of the centerpiece concessions in the community benefits agreement that enabled Columbia University to build the Campbell Fitness Center at Baker Field on 218th Street and Broadway. The project granted Columbia the right to erect the center in exchange for the construction of a waterfront park on land previously owned by Columbia.

While Columbia's fitness center is long complete, residents have been waiting for years for the marsh. In September, Columbia told DNAinfo that it had completed construction of the park and that it was waiting for Parks to open it. However Parks argued that several components of the marsh were not finished, including a rewiring or park lighting, the replacement of wooden handrails, the installation of Parks department signage and the reshaping of protruding rocks.

Hoppa said Tuesday that all of that is finished, telling the board: "All of the work is done on the site. One additional exhibit has to be changed in the legal agreement but otherwise we're good to go."

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