RiverWalk expands to Mercy College

By Jessi Rucker

A brand new stretch of parks, promenades and paths along the Hudson River will soon offer Mercy students refuge from the college life and a new way to travel to other parts of Westchester.

The 51.5-mile RiverWalk will stretch from Peekskill down to Yonkers, spanning 14 municipalities and passing right through Mercy Campus just east of the Metro-North Hudson Line.

“We normally just run on the Aqueduct but a new longer track would be very cool,” said Emily Klobus, 18, who is a member of the Mercy Cross Country team.

In late September, the Village Board of Dobbs Ferry decided to immediately start taking bids on improvements of the shoreline to prepare for the RiverWalk construction.

“There hasn’t been a lot of hype here in Dobbs Ferry yet but I’m sure once it’s completed we will have a huge response,” said Joseph Schaefer, Chief Operating Officer of Mercy College, with regards to the anticipation of the plans. “The Tarrytown portion just got completed in August, and people have been really excited about what the RiverWalk has to offer.”

The trail will consist of benches, boardwalks, bridges, and esplanades creating space for jogging, biking and rollerblading.

“I think the RiverWalk will actually promote exercise around campus,” said Klobus.

The precise plans for the Mercy College portion are unclear, but some students have an idea what they would like to see.

“I hope you can get near the water,” wished Adonica Ekwunife, 18. “It would be real nice if they built a bridge or a dock we could get to.”

“It would be a great getaway. I’d definitely spend time away from class down there,” said Mike Barber, 21 who also plans to use the new path to take his bike on a scenic tree-lined cruise.

Students who tend to drift asleep on their commute and miss their stop will not have to wait for a returning train or bus anymore because the River Walk will connect directly with 13 of 14 Metro-North stations and 27 Bee-Line Bus routes. Once the River Walk is completed, one can walk a straight path to or from campus along the Hudson River.

“Here at Mercy we are always excited to participate with the community,” said Schaefer. “We have always happily shared our lawns and fields, so hopefully the new RiverWalk will engage even more of our neighbors in upcoming events here on campus.”

The RiverWalk will contribute to local environmental preservation by making new areas of the shoreline protected and looked after by Westchester Parks and Recreations.