NEW YORK - It’s a unique concept: a tidal marsh constructed at the end of a pier, 800 feet from the shore. That’s exactly what the Tide Deck is, on the western end of Hudson River Park's new Pier 26.
"You kind of forget actually that it's a built structure and that it kind of goes down to the channel of the river,” said Hudson River Park Senior Director of Education and Outreach Tina Walsh, who added that it looks like it's the coast, but it’s built up from the river, featuring plants and a breakwater.
The tide deck is just one of the features of the new pier in TriBeCa, between Hubert and North Moore Streets. Hudson River Park Trust President and CEO Madelyn Wils said it serves many purposes for the community.
"This is a place that if you want to play sports, you can play sports, you want to hang out on the grass, that's where you can be,”said Wils.
There is a woodland forest on the pier, with trees and plants Henry Hudson saw when he sailed up the river now named for him in the early 1600s.
The two-and-a-half acre pier may also have the best views of any pier in the what has become one of the longest waterfront parks in the country, spanning from Chambers Street to 59th Street.
You can sit on chaise lounges, or bar stools looking north, and there’s even swinging chairs for some peaceful meditation. The timing for the completion of the new pier couldn't have been better, as New Yorkers seek out open space during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"When you get out into the park and you are right next to the water, you don't feel like you are anywhere in the city, it's very special,” said Wils.
Back to the tide deck, which is an immersive education experience, for now, mainly through virtual programs for students and the public. It's also a great spot for studying life in the Hudson.
"We are going to be measuring and monitoring the species that are taking root in the tide pools, and keeping track of what we are finding there,” said Tina Walsh.
More than 20 years after it was first established, Hudson River Park is nearing completion. Two more sections are expected to be done in 2021, with two others in the design phase.