I Love the Bronx: The Bronx River Alliance
Yo Amo El Bronx: ‘The Bronx River Alliance’

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I Love the Bronx: The Bronx River Alliance

Story and photos by Nilka Martell

This insect is a water strider, as has appeared on the Bronx River. It has six legs and literally glides on the water.

This insect is a water strider, as has appeared on the Bronx River. It has six legs and literally glides on the water.

As part of our ongoing BFP series highlighting the various favorite spaces, things and people of many of our readers, we turn to Nilka Martell, who continues to explore her hometown.

“I am a Bronx native, daughter, sister, mother of three beautiful Bronx babies, photographer, writer and motivator,” says Martell, of Puerto Rican descent.

A paralegal for over17 years until December 2010, she has since been dedicating her time to exploring the Bronx.

Her energy and enthusiasm are indefatigable, and admirable.

“I want to make my fellow residents aware and informed of how lovely our borough is, what it offers, and how to lend a helping hand in our environment.”

Of this new time in her life, Martell says, “I have never felt so alive!”

This week, she writes of a minor miracle: walking on water on the Bronx River, and opportunities for residents to Ramble along for themselves!

On Tues., Feb. 28th , the Bronx River Alliance held their annual Winter Assembly.  It was the first time my kids and I were attending and we didn’t know what to expect.

But when we walked in, it felt like a huge family function.

People gathered and mingled, conversations and laughter filled the room.

The focus of the program was wildlife in the Bronx River.

Of the many people committed to celebrating the natural beauty of the Bronx River are (from left to right) Stephen DeVillo, creator of the Bronx River Rambles, and Mike Gupta and Morgan Powell, who have served as tour guides for the Rambles.

Of the many people committed to celebrating the natural beauty of the Bronx River are (from left to right) Stephen DeVillo, creator of the Bronx River Rambles, and Mike Gupta and Morgan Powell, who have served as tour guides for the Rambles.

And though the kids and I have yet to spot a beaver, we have seen egrets, herons, muskrats, ducks, geese, turtles, dragonflies and an insect that glides on the water. Struck by curiosity, my son has been obsessed with this insect. The first opportunity he got that night he asked an Alliance member, Maggie Scott Greenfield. Not knowing what it was and growing curious herself, she asked Betsy Ukeritis.

Ms. Ukeritis informed us that the insect is a water strider.  It has six legs and literally glides on the water.

During the open discussion, my son gladly shared his personal experience of wildlife and the information he learned that night. Others shared stories and some highlighted ecological work being done on the Bronx River by various groups like Rocking the Boat and Satellite Academy High School, youth from The Point and the Alliance itself.

Aaron Birk presented his book “The Pollinator’s Corridor”. The graphic novel is set in the Bronx. Birk spent some of his writing time on the Bronx River.

Artist and community activist Sharon De La Cruz of the Point painted a picture as Kellie Terry-Sepulveda spoke about various programs and upcoming events.

If you would like to experience the Bronx River yourself, a wonderful opportunity is coming up!

On Sat., March 10th, the Bronx River Alliance will kick-off its Bronx River Rambles, walking tours near and along the Bronx River. They will meet at 10 a.m. at Webster Ave and 233rd Street. The walking tour will be of Muskrat Cove and the surrounding area.

Mike Gupta, one of the tour guides, urges all residents, “Come out and see a great mix of old photographs and learn about trees and plants at Muskrat Cove!”

I encourage you to join us and enjoy the spring-like weather outdoors in the Bronx, while we discover our borough’s amazing greenery near Muskrat Cove. Come alone, bring a friend, heck, bring your family, and spend some time experiencing the loveliness of the Bronx.

Yo Amo El Bronx: ‘The Bronx River Alliance’ 

Historia y fotos por Nilka Martell

Of the many people committed to celebrating the natural beauty of the Bronx River are (from left to right) Stephen DeVillo, creator of the Bronx River Rambles, and Mike Gupta and Morgan Powell, who have served as tour guides for the Rambles.

De las muchas personas comprometidas a celebrar la belleza natural del Río Bronx son (de izquierda a derecha) Stephen DeVillo, creador de Paseos en el Río Bronx y Mike Gupta y Morgan Powell, quien ha servido como guía turístico para los Paseos.

Como parte de nuestra serie de BFP destacando los diferentes espacios, cosas y personas favoritas de muchos de nuestros lectores, nos dirigimos a Nilka Martell, quien continúa explorando su ciudad natal.

“Yo soy nativa del Bronx, hija, hermana, madre de tres preciosos niños del Bronx, fotógrafa, escritora y motivadora”, dijo Martell, de descendencia puertorriqueña.

Paralegal por más de 17 años hasta diciembre del 2010, desde entonces ha dedicado su tiempo a explorar el Bronx.

Su energía y entusiasmo son infatigables y admirables.

“Quiero que mis compañeros residentes estén concientes e informados de cuan hermoso es nuestro condado, lo que ofrece y como ofrecer una mano amiga a nuestro ambiente”.

De este nuevo tiempo en su vida, Martell dice, “nunca me he sentido más viva”.

Esta semana, nos escribe de un pequeño milagro: caminando en las aguas en el Rio Bronx y oportunidades para los residentes para pasear por si mismos.

El martes, 28 de febrero, la Alianza del Río Bronx celebró su Asamblea anual de Invierno. Fue la primera vez que mis niños y yo asistimos, y no sabíamos que esperar.

Pero cuando entramos, se sentía como una gran función familiar.

La gente se reunía y se mezclaba, conversaciones y risas llenaba el salón.

El enfoque del programa lo era la vida silvestre en el Río Bronx.

This insect is a water strider, as has appeared on the Bronx River. It has six legs and literally glides on the water.

Este insecto es uno que se desliza en agua, como aparece en el Río Bronx. Tiene seis patas y literalmente se desliza en el agua.

Y aunque los niños y yo todavía tenemos que ver un castor, hemos visto airones, garzas, patos, gansos, tortugas, libélulas y un insecto que se desliza por el agua. Golpeado por la curiosidad, mi hijo ha estado obsesionado con este insecto. La primera oportunidad que tuvo esa noche le preguntó a un miembro de la Alianza, Maggie Scott Greenfield. No sabiendo lo que era y su curiosidad creciendo, le preguntó a Betsy Ukeritis.

La Sra. Ukeritis nos informó que el insecto es uno de agua. Tiene seis patas y literalmente se desliza en el agua.

Durante la discusión de apertura, mi hijo comparte con gusto su experiencia personal de vida silvestre y la información que aprendió esa noche. Otros compartieron historias y otros destacaron trabajo ecológico hecho en el Río Bronx por varios grupos como ‘Rocking the Boat’ y la Escuela Superior Satellite Academy, jóvenes de ‘The Point’ y la misma Alianza.

Aaron Birk presentó su libro “The Pollinator’s Corridor”. La novela gráfica se establece en el Bronx. Birk pasó parte de su tiempo escribiendo en el Rio Bronx.

La artista y activista comunal Sharon de la Cruz de ‘The Point’ pintó una foto mientras Kellie Terry-Sepulveda habló acerca de varios programas y próximos eventos.

Si usted desea experimentar usted mismo el Río Bronx, tiene una maravillosa oportunidad!

El sábado, 10 de marzo, la Alianza del Río Bronx comenzará sus Paseos por el Río Bronx, excursiones caminando y a lo largo del Río Bronx. Se reunirán a las 10 a.m. en la Avenida Wesbster y la Calle 233. La excursión caminando será de Muskrat Cove y el área a su alrededor.

Mike Gupta, uno de los guías turísticos, exhorta a todos los residentes, “Vengan y vean una gran mezcla de viejas fotografías y aprenda acerca de árboles y plantas en Muskrat Cove”.

Los exhorto a unírsenos y disfrutar del clima primaveral al aire libre en el Bronx, mientras descubrimos el increíble verdor de nuestro condado cerca de Muskrat Cove. Venga, traiga un amigo, traiga a su familia y pase algún tiempo experimentando la belleza del Bronx.