Youngsters will have a chance to row on the river.

Following a summer of planning to expand recreational access to the Bronx shore of the Harlem River and to the river itself, the Harlem River Working Group will throw a party on the riverside on Saturday, Oct. 20.

The 2012 Harlem River Festival, the third sponsored by the organization, will take place on land and on the water at Roberto Clemente State Park.
The river will be alive with all manner of boats, according to the organizers. Rocking the Boat, the youth program that builds and sails rowboats on the Bronx River and engages in projects to improve its quality, will be on hand, along with a professional log-roller, who will perform three shows on the day.

The October 20 fair will be the festive wrap-up to a week-long series of events.

From Oct.15-Oct. 19, the non-profit organization Wilderness Inquiry, which is devoted to connecting people to nature, will take schoolchildren onto the river in a large canoe.

On Oct. 17, the Bronx Council for Environmental Quality will sponsor its annual water conference, at which scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection will discuss the condition of the river.

The Harlem River Working Group held a series of workshops this summer to gain input from Bronx residents about ways to improve access to the Harlem, and enlisted the help of the Pratt Institute to create a plan for river access.

Formed in 2009, the working group brings together community organizations, governmental agencies and commercial stakeholders who seek to improving the environmental quality of the river and to gain access to it. It meets monthly to organize around the goal of creating a green corridor along as much of the length of the Harlem as possible, with bike and walking path greenways and river access points.

Roberto Clemente Park can be reached via the 4 train and BX 40 bus or the D train and BX 18 bus, or by car from the Major Deegan Expressway.

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