Beautifying Riverbank

  • "Beautifying Riverbank."
  • Research included a trip to the Catskill Watershed to learn more about New York water cycle.
  • The team mixes paint in an assembly line.
  • Many of the characters were painted on parachute cloth then installed permanently onto the wall.
  • The team works on fabricating the mural.
  • A detail from the mural depicts both the water treatment facility and the park activities taking place above it.

Project Description

“Beautifying Riverbank” was created by Groundswell in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and NYC Department of Environmental Protection. The mural engages Riverbank State Park’s diverse visitors in a celebration of our local water cycle, from the Catskill Mountains to New York City, as well as tells the story of Riverbank State Park’s creation and the resource it continues to be to the community 20 years after its opening.


In developing the site-specific mural designed for the Riverbank water splashing area, youth muralists enlivened a monumental wall with a whimsical visual narrative. Playfully changing depths and perspectives, the design illustrates the unique stories behind this one-of-a-kind park and the New York City water cycle. The mural reads left to right, and begins at daybreak as a group of community activists organize for a state-of-the-art park to be built atop a planned wastewater treatment plant. The mural ends at moonrise, as these same activists, now grandparents and friends of the park, enjoy all that the park has to offer and envision its future legacy.


At its center, children splash in the waters of the Catskill Mountains beneath a radiant Mother Nature figure. The unveiling of this mural proved particularly meaningful as Riverbank State Park celebrated its 20th anniversary. The 28-acre multi-level landscaped recreational facility rises 69 feet above the Hudson River and offers a wide variety of recreational, athletic and arts experiences for all ages, interests and abilities.

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Project Info

Fun Facts

“Riverbank State Park and this beautiful mural sit on top of the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant which plays a critical role in protecting the environment and public health.” – Carter Strickland, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner
Suggested Activity
Visit Riverbank State Park and spend the day enjoying its incredible views of the Hudson River and the George Washington Bridge. Don’t miss your chance to ride the Totally Kid Carousel, designed by artist Milo Mottola and inspired by children’s drawings.
The only park of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, Riverbank State Park is inspired by urban rooftop designs in Japan.