Editor's note: Maltby Park is the green space near the Bronxville village paddle tennis courts
By Mary Marvin, Mayor of Bronxville
Mar. 1, 2023: One of the most positive and inspiring developments in recent weeks is the collaboration of the Village government with a group of residents to do some long overdue renovations at Maltby Park.
The Trustees have long set their sights on a refurbishment, as I think we can all agree, upgrades are needed in the area adjacent to the Bronx River Parkway. Quite honestly, many of our realtors have told me they don’t have prospective new residents exit off the highway at that particular exit because of the first impression of our Village that is presents.
As background, the greenspace is 2.8 acres of Village owned parkland where a former Girl Scout cabin stood at the end closest to Dewitt Avenue. After the cabin tragically burned down in 2006, the Board of Trustees empaneled a committee to review uses of the land.
Chaired by former Mayor, Sheila Stein, a village wide poll resulted in an overwhelming no to spending what was then in the neighborhood of half million dollars on a new cabin. Rather, the residents suggested upgrades to the open space as the Village has so little green space to call our own. We had even reached out to the school at one point when we were in flux as to usage to see if it could be some sort of ballfield. But due to its odd shape and proximity to a two-lane road, it met no regulation field rules for interscholastic play and the dangers of errant balls in traffic lanes made it undesirable.
With a $170,000 grant from Senator Klein in 2010-2011, we removed and added topsoil, installed benches, a few trees, and the current pathway. It has remained in this condition since then and is underutilized to say the least.
Given the heavy usage of our only play park for youngsters during the school day, that being Sagamore Park, and the incredible difficulty of parking there, a group of families, spearheaded by Village resident, Ashley Sharpe, and shepherded by Trustee, Mary Behrens, brought forth the idea of a public/private partnership to not only add some playground equipment but spruce up the entire area of Maltby Park.
In what is a nice historical happenstance, this is exactly how we first built Sagamore Park when the Junior League came to the Village and offered their time and talents to work with us to rehabilitate that little bit of open space. Cognizant of the importance of that park in the particular quadrant of the Village, the Village will be spending $150,000 on new play structures that are badly needed due to incredible usage and age.
Unlike Sagamore Park, the new initiative will not only have some new play equipment but also the installation of 40 new trees, hundreds of flowers, a new great lawn and a very welcoming arch/gate. By necessity, it will have a low, decorative fence and privet hedge to accommodate both safety of the children and visibility for those monitoring the park.
Early on, we reached out to the neighbors of the park and the responses have only been positive. The area will also have picnic tables, new benches with the thought that all ages would have a nice quiet oasis to come down and enjoy. With the wonderful influx of new young families and the energy they bring, the timing could not be more beneficial.
The equipment would be purchased from a nationally known vendor, who recently completed the beautiful park in Larchmont, and we have a landscape architect involved for proper tree placement, shade, and overall aesthetics. The plans will be submitted for environmental reviews in the coming weeks.
Maltby Park Fundraising Campaign
This week, the Friends of Matlby Park will initiate a campaign to reach out to all of you in the hopes that you may want to contribute. The Village is committed to $150,000, the same amount we are spending to upgrade Sagamore Park, if the funding from the Friends of Maltby Park reaches $300,000. We are overwhelmed and gratified by the initial positive response and incredible generosity of Village families that have already been contacted by the steering committee.
The area just seems to be the ideal location. So many goals are accomplished with one initiative: that of increasing the use of a completely underutilized green space, energizing the beautification of that particular area of the Village, complimenting as a neighbor to our paddle courts and Farmers Market and for the Village there is a pretty significant amount of parking should not all the park goers want to walk to the park. Like Sagamore Park, it will be open to anyone who just enjoys fresh air and time outside.
All of the specifics are available on the Village website and your donation will be fully tax deductible as the project is 170(c)(1) designated.
The goal is to gather the necessary funding with the hopes of an added surplus for ongoing maintenance fund for the Village by the end of March so plants and equipment can be ordered for a Fall opening.
The legendary Bronxville spirit of vision and volunteerism is yet again on display!
Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.
While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.
Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.
The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.
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