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Highbridge Park Gets Revamped With New Trees and Cleaner Trails

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Highbridge Park got a makeover with the help of hundreds of volunteers Thursday along with New York Restoration Project and the Parks Department.

More than 300 employees from liquor and spirits company Pernod Ricard USA's Manhattan and Westchester locations repainted a fence along the park, cleaned up park trails and replanted approximately 500 native trees and shrubs, according to company officials.

“We do this once a year, where everyone goes out the office and devotes their effort to do community outreach in their relevant community," said Pernod Ricard USA senior vice president Brian Chevlin, who said the project was part of the company's global responsible day initiative.

Jennifer Hoppa, administrator for Northern Manhattan parks, said Thursday's outreach is just part of the work that's been carried out in recent years at Highbridge Park — which stretches from 155th St. to Dyckman St.

"We've invested $98M worth of capital, whether it's installing the city's first mountain bike course to the north of here or restoring the historic Highbridge, or building a skate park," Hoppa said. 

Deborah Marton, executive director of the New York Restoration Project (NYRP), said volunteers were working across a 2 1/2-acre area in Highbridge Park. Marton said this is the largest group project scheduled for Highbridge Park this year. 

"Some [volunteers] are clearing vines, some are planting trees, others are weeding and removing trash," Marton said. 

NYRP was founded in by Bette Midler in 1995, and has conducted several restoration projects in Highbridge Park for over 20 years, often bringing in companies like Jet Blue and American Express, Marton said.