The Tide Deck at Pier 26: A Living Laboratory

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Pier 26 at Hudson River Park in Manhattan, New York recently reopened to the public with updated Kebony wood walkways and an environmentally-sound addition at the end. The park is focused largely on river ecology, and the creation of a new human-engineered marshland called The Tide Deck aligns with this vision.

We use the park as our living laboratory.”
-Carrie Roble, VP for Estuary and Education, Hudson River Park Trust

The Tide Deck is a manmade rocky marsh constructed on a concrete platform with steel piles that plunge into the river bottom. Tide pools in the rocky marsh were created by assembling boulders in purposeful positions. Cordgrass inserted into polyester on the platform made plant life in the marsh possible. Tour and school groups can visit to watch the wetland flood at high tide, and can study the ecosystem found in the Hudson estuary.

Along with The Tide Deck, Pier 26 also includes several differing environments and elevations. Visitors can see ecological habitats throughout their walk, such as woodland forests, coastal grasslands, and maritime scrubs. The wetland and the Hudson River end the stroll down the pier on a high note. Kebony wood was selected for the walkways for its alignment with the architects’ goal of a sustainably-designed pier. Kebony is also durable enough to endure harsh weather that may befall the maritime environment.

The park has reopened at a wonderful time, with people socially distancing outdoors during the Covid-19 pandemic. These outstanding features are not all that’s in store for this project, though. Pier 26 will eventually have an “estuarium”, which will be an educational center. A playground will join the site, and more species will inhabit the wetland environment over time. The best is clearly yet to come with this stunning new community experience!

Credits:
Photography by Max Guliani for Hudson River Park
Press: The New York Times: At the End of Pier 26- A Surprise