Crotona Park is the largest park in the South Bronx and the sixth largest in the borough of New York City. It was acquired from Andrew Bathgate as part of the consolidation of the Bronx park system in 1888, and was originally known as “Bathgate Woods”. This picturesque area was already renowned for its stunning views, lush trees, and tranquil pond. The name Crotona was chosen to indicate that it would include active sports along with passive elements, such as walking trails and ponds.
This was in reference to the ancient Greek colony of Crotone, in southern Italy, which was famous for its Olympic athletes. The Bronx is now the poorest district in New York City, but it is still the greenest, with the highest percentage of land dedicated to parks. It is also the only municipality truly attached to the continent, as the other four districts are former swamps. This makes Crotona Park even more important to its community, as it provides a sanctuary of rolling grass, tall trees, baseball fields, a swimming pool, and a quiet lake. Much of this was done under the aegis of Robert Moses, who became commissioner of the New York City Parks and Recreation Department in 1934. During his tenure he oversaw projects such as five baseball fields, twenty tennis courts, twenty-six handball courts, nine play areas, four comfort stations, picnic areas and seating areas. In 1996, the Friends of Crotona Park defense group was founded and efforts to restore the park began. When people come to New York City they often visit Central Park first.
But for those who live in Manhattan or are looking for a different experience, Crotona Park is an excellent option. It has been providing its community with a place to relax and enjoy nature since 1888 and continues to be an important part of life in the Bronx. Sergey Kadinsky is an analyst in the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation and an adjunct professor of history at Touro College. Crotona Park is a timeless beauty that has been providing its community with a place to relax and enjoy nature for over 130 years. From its picturesque views to its active sports facilities, this park has something for everyone.
Whether you're looking for a peaceful stroll or an exciting game of baseball, Crotona Park has it all. So come explore this historic park and discover why it's been an important part of life in the Bronx for so long.