Providing more access to a great urban waterfront and reclaiming marine and plant life does more than revitalize the environment—it renews a part of ourselves. That’s how I felt when I visited Muscota Marsh, a new public green space at an acre of land at the northeast tip of Inwood Hill Park in upper Manhattan.
I came across an article on this small but delightful park by Andrea Stone in the Summer 2014 issue of Columbia, the quarterly magazine sent to all alumni of Columbia University. The park lies at the western edge of Baker Athletic Complex. A few weekends ago, after watching a loss on the gridiron, I walked out of the stadium, down a gravel path, and gloried in the mid-afternoon sunshine as I beheld the nearby Spuyten Duyvil and more distant Palisades across the Hudson River. I took this photograph that afternoon.
Columbia’s crew team long knew this site Boathouse Marsh because of the facility kept nearby, but its current name constitutes a reclamation of history just as the site represents a reclamation of nature. “Muscota” comes from “place in the reeds,” a phrase from the Lenape, the Native Americans who once lived here.
More than the great blue heron, the snowy egret, and leopard frogs are visiting this site. As seen here, human beings are taking to it, too.