Join urban explorer Steve Duncan in finding Harlem Creek’s buried path through Central Park to the Harlem Muir as Steve explains how the waterway functions today. Manhattan Island was once covered by streams and marshes before it became paved over with concrete and asphalt. Once voluminous, Harlem Creek is now a hidden watercourse that makes its presence known only if you know where to look for it. After seeing it, you may never walk the city’s streets again without wondering what lies beneath.
On the walk, you can peer into ventilation holes, tunnels and manhole covers to glimpse the Creek’s meandering underground waterways. Eventually the Creek is routed to the Wards Island Sewage Plant, unnecessarily adding to the water volume that causes combined sewage overflows (CSOs) during rain storms. Harlem Creek’s past may hold secrets vital to New York City’s sustainable development as the daylighting and rerouting of overtreated underground waters become solutions central to the City’s resilient future.