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the borders thereof, the appearance and topography of the adjoining land. That they were greatly impressed with natural beauty of the stream and its immediate surroundings where the march of alleged improvement had not impaired that beauty, and of its great importance to Bronx Park, and those great institutions, the New York Botanical Garden and the New York Zoological Park, which are located in the Bronx Park, and to the portion of Westchester County through which the stream runs. That the Board felt the necessity from the outset of immediate action if the river was to be saved, and concluded that its preservation was important not only to the City of New York but to Westchester County.

In looking for a precedent for action to save the river, the Board found that it was not necessary to go abroad where such action is quite usual, but that here at home enlightened communities had already commenced to take such steps, as for instance in the case of the Wissahickon, in Philadel. phia, and of the Charles River, in Boston, and it also found on investigation that throughout the Union munici. palities were awakening to the necessity of taking concerted action in order to preserve tracts of unusual natural beauty from destruction and to maintain them for public use.

Under the terms of the Act, the Commission was required - if it should decide in favor of creating a reservation to preserve the Bronx River- to prepare a map or plan of said proposed reservation, showing the lands necessary to be taken, and to include in its report an estimate of the cost of taking the lands necessary to constitute such reservation, and to report its views as to how such cost should be met.

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Having unanimously decided that the reservation should be created, the Board instructed its engineer to prepare a map or plan following certain boundaries as to extent which were indicated by the Commission. The area taken being limited by the consideration of the cost which the acquisition of the land to be taken would entail, but always including such amount of land as was necessary to carry out the purpose of the Act under which the Com. mission was appointed. This map or plan was not completed until the Commission had obtained full information as to the proposed plans of the New York Central Railroad Company, which operates the Harlem Railroad, running along the bank of the river almost its entire length, and which proposes a widening of the roadbed of its rail. road and of the plans of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, which has recently acquired a large tract of land lying on either side of the Bronx River between Woodlawn and the northerly line of Bronx Park in the City of New York, and of the Bronx Valley Sewer Commission, which is working upon a plan for a great trunk sewer through the valley of the river from White Plains to Woodlawn, and of the President of the Borough of the Bronx, in whose office plans have been prepared for a boulevard to be known as the Bronx Boulevard, running parallel with the river and some few hundred feet eastwardly therefrom, from Bronx Park to Woodlawn in the City of New York. The map or plan prepared by the engineer shows all of these proposed improvements so far as they had developed at the time of the preparation of the map. Conferences were held by the Board with representatives of the Sewer Com

mission, of the New York Central Railroad ('ompany, of the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad Company, and of the President of the Borough of the Bronx, and all of these representatives heartily approved the general plan of the Commission and assured it of the hearty co-operation of their respective principals when the matter should come before them officially.

In determining, as it was bound to, the cost of taking the lands necessary to constitute the reservation, the Board decided that the fairest basis of valuation would be the present value as assessed for the purposes of taxation, and has based its estimate of cost upon such assessed value. After careful consideration of the subject and conferences with representative taxpayers in the City of New York and County of Westchester, the Board decided that the cost of the improvement should be divided between the City of New York and the County of Westchester in the ratio of two-thirds for the former, and one-third for the latter, and that this cost should be met by a bond issue in the necessary amount.

Some of the considerations which have influenced the Commission in its conclusion are as follows:

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The City of New York, with its narrow peninsular form, beween the Hudson River and the Long Island Sounı, is exceptional in having really only one landward extension from Manhattan Island. The land connection extends through the Borough of Bronx and lower Westchester County; and is a comparatively narrow territory,

only six and a half miles wide at the north line of the city, and at Tarrytown, the distance is only seven and a half miles from the Hudson River to the Connecticut line.

In general topography, this territory occupies a rising elevation, a succession of valleys and wooded ridges extending along the generally parallel, dying spurs of the Green Mountain and Berkshire Ranges.

In the longest of these valleys lies Bronx River. Its course runs almost south and parallel with the Hudson through Westchester County and the Borough of the Bronx, and terminates, so far as picturesque features are concerned, in the Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens. Between the city line and Kensico Lake, the river forms the boundary between the cities of Mount Vernon and Yonkers, and the townships of Eastchester, Greenburgh, Scarsdale, White Plains, Mt. Pleasant, and North Castle.

Thus between the so-called “Hudson River Section" on the west, and the towns designated as "Along the Sound” on the east, there is an equally well-defined middle or interior zone, the Bronx water-shed, uniform in its interest and development, having an area, north of Bronx Park, of about fifty square miles. This district is developing with great rapidity.


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Statistics show that the population of all our large cities is increasing with the greatest speed in the outer

In New York City, perhaps the most congested in the world, because of its close water surroundings, we are also witnessing a new and marked trend of city over


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flow to the suburbs; and with the completion of new transportation facilities, as against the former ferry-boat and bridge, a large portion of this will naturally be diverted to the immediately adjacent Westchester section.

The Harlern Division of the New York Central & Hudson River Railroad is being converted for four-track electric rapid-transit service, while other transportation, water, electric light, gas, and various service corporations and State realty interests are already in extended operation, and projecting larger investments. Progressive municipal and community projects — highways, schools, churches, etc., are seeking to keep pace with, and stimu

late progress.

Without attempting to give figures for the Borough of the Bronx, the Commission on Bronx Valley sewer reports existing property valuations of $30,000,000, and anticipates ultimate population of 850,000 on the Bronx watershed beyond the city limits.



The Bronx is the most important stream in the metropolitan district, with an increasing utilitarian and asthetic value, important in view of the constant increase of the city's population. A present movement is on foot to obtain government aid to make the lower tidal outlet of the river navigable to West Farms; but the portion under consideration, flowing through the Zoological Park, Botanical Gardens, and above, is a comparatively shallow stream, except in freshet. The upper course lies through a most picturesque valley and amid delightful surroundings, but

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