Subsoil Delivery

[A mound of subsoil has been deposited in the future planting bed, and spread under the re-installed railroad tracks. Click all photos to enlarge.]

In preparation for the arrival of plants later this fall, a layer of subsoil has just been delivered to the High Line above 19th Street. This soil, part of the High Line’s layered Living Roof system, will serve as a base for the topsoil in which plants will eventually grow. Subsoil is coarser and typically contains more clay than the finer, more nutrient-rich topsoil.

Once both layers of soil are in place in the planting beds, they will be covered over to keep them from blowing away before plants are ready.

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Name the Drag Queen, Win a Prize: High Line Co-Founder’s “Sister” in Fire Island Cookbook

One of the High Line Co-Founders has a secret sister featured in the just-published cookbook, “Drag Queens Can Cook!” (sales benefit the Doctor’s House, in Cherry Grove, on Fire Island, which provides medical care to residents and visitors alike). 

The first person to e-mail info@thehighline.org identifying the gal of which we speak and her relation to the correct High Line Co-Founder wins one of the following prizes (winner’s choice):  A copy of Friends of the High Line’s new publication, “Designing the High Line: Gansevoort Street to 30th Street,” which showcases the final High Line design, OR a Billy’s Bakery cupcake or drink in the High Line neighborhood with the High Line Co-Founder in question.  With some sleuthing, you can find the Co-Founder’s secret sister on the “Drag Queens Can Cook!” Web site, but we hope you’ll buy a copy — it benefits a good cause, and it’s full of delightful recipes that can be easily prepared while wearing the longest Lee Press-On Nails you can find.

“What Will Grow Here?” Planting Bed Drainage Systems

 

[The black plastic drainage panel, installed below the tracks. Click to enlarge.]

Soil for the planting beds is set to be delivered this month on Section One. In anticipation of soil, the beds are now being lined with layers of the “Living Roof” system. 

The first layer to be installed: The drainage panel, a black plastic cell system, provides a critical component for water retention, drainage, and aeration.  The panel looks and feels like an expansive plastic egg carton, with small cups that catch and store water as it exits the soil profile.  The spaces between these cups help channel excess water toward planting bed drains, while tiny perforations in the cups allow for aeration to the soil from below. 

 More on the Living Roof Layer after the jump…

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NYT’s ‘Public Lives’ on FHL Co-Founders

[Robert Hammond, left, and Josh David on the High Line. Photo by Oscar Hidalgo for the Times.]

Today’s New York Times Metro section featured a profile of Co-Founders Robert Hammond and Josh David in the “Public Lives” column.

On the 1999 Community Board meeting where the two met, and first learned about the High Line:

ALTHOUGH neither had previously experienced a deep emotional or aesthetic connection to the structure — or, to be honest, any connection at all — the notion of it being eliminated from the cityscape in the interest of cookie-cutter development had struck them as heretical. Shortsighted, too.

“I fell in love with the very thing most people were complaining about, this rusty eyesore from the city’s industrial past,” says Mr. Hammond. “I saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to preserve a mile and a half of Manhattan as an uninterrupted walkway and vantage point for people to enjoy on their own terms.”

“What Will Grow Here?”… Introducing Weekly High Line Horticulture

The first of a weekly blog series by our horticulturist Melissa Fisher:

Eupatorium rugosum

[Eupatorium rugosum at Greenbelt Native Plant Center]

Recently, we rode the ferry across to Staten Island and traveled by taxi to one of the Parks Department’s best-kept secrets, the Greenbelt Native Plant Center.

Here, hundreds of native plants, including this White Snakeroot, Eupatorium rugosum, are being grown for Section 1 of the High Line (Gansevoort – 20th Streets). Greenbelt is also storing thousands of seeds collected on the High Line in 2006 by volunteers. Some of this seed, including that of Little Bluestem, Schizachyrium scoparium, will be grown for planting in Section 2 (20th – 30th Streets.)

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Majora Carter passes on the torch at Sustainable South Bronx

Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx), the Bronx-based non-profit, announced today that Founder and environmental justice champion Majora Carter will be stepping down from her post as Executive Director. 

Deputy Director Miquela Craytor has been promoted to fill her rather large shoes and will continue to lead this groundbreaking organization, which is a force for innovation in the South Bronx, and serves as a model for communities across the globe.

Ms. Carter will continue to offer strategic support to SSBx while pursuing a wide array of new opportunities, including her own consulting business focusing on the economic potential of green-collar employment opportunities.  

We at the High Line are continually impressed with the work she has done on behalf of her own neighborhood, environmental justice issues, as well as the welfare of communities across the globe.  We wish her the best in her future endeavors and are excited to see where Ms. Craytor leads SSBx.

For more articles and info about Majora Carter, check out:

Carter Discusses Need to ‘Green the Ghetto’ at U.Va.  [UVA Today]

Carrying the Olympic Torch, and Protesting It, Too   [New York Times]

Biography: Majora Carter  [CNN.com] 

How the Bronx Turned Green  [The Root]

Is Bike-Sharing in NYC’s Future?

[Bike-Sharing in Lyon, France. Courtesy Time Out New York]

Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC the new DOT Commissioner, and Transportation Alternatives, New York is becoming a more bike-friendly city, and more and more people are starting to bike regularly. Up next could be a bike-sharing program, which are already successful in many European Cities (Here’s info about the Paris, Copenhagen, and Barcelona models), and newly implemented in Washington D.C. Everyone from city residents to tourists are nuts about bike-sharing: it’s a cheap, easy, healthy, environmentally friendly way to get around cities. In NYC, where so many of our transit trips are short and congestion is only getting worse, bike sharing makes so much sense to me.

There’s an experiment beginning July 10th to see what it could look like in New York. A “summer pilot program” produced by the Forum for Urban Design, the Storefront for Art & Architecture, and the City Bakery, the New York Bike-Share Project will consist of 20 bikes available for 30 minute rentals (for free!) at a few locations in downtown Manhattan, and an exhibition and discussions about the feasibility for a long-term project.

Your help is needed to make it a success! The project wants to know how New Yorkers would use these bikes for short trips–so go for a ride! Or, better yet, join me in volunteering: There are shifts available from Thursday July 10th – Monday July 14th. If you’d like to help out, please e-mail info@forumforurbandesign.org. I’ll report back with pictures.

Read more: Bike-Sharing Gets Smart, Time, June 12, 2008

Bicycle-Sharing Program to Be First of Kind in U.S., New York Times, April 27, 2008

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