Mangano Announces Park Improvements on First Day of Summer
Construction of New Ball Fields, Hiking Trails, Playgrounds, and Restoration of
Historic Landmarks after Years of Neglect
Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano today announced a variety of recreational improvements throughout the Nassau County parks system just in time for the summer season. Following a decade of inattention and deterioration, improvements to county parks include new playgrounds at Christopher Morley Park and Nickerson Beach, a new soccer field in Hicksville, the renovation of two Little League baseball fields in Seaford, and the creation of a new water trail for kayaks and canoes along the South Shore.
While operating funds for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have been cut 25 percent in the past two years, Ed Mangano has pledged to renovate and restore Nassau County’s parks and keep them open for business all summer long.
“Our parks are intended to offer relief, relaxation and fun to residents who are facing increased stress from a poor economy and high taxes,” said County Executive Mangano. “We will continue to offer the same great cultural events, concerts and other activities at our wonderful facilities, and I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy them.”
Nassau County has 70 parks, preserves, museums, historic properties and athletic facilities comprising 6,000 acres. These range from the 930-acre Eisenhower Park in East Meadow to the renovated 2-acre Centennial Park in Roosevelt to the Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove. There are facilities for swimming, ice skating, golf (18 or 9 hole courses, including mini-golf), camping, and boating, along with a variety of fitness and hiking trails.
“Whether you catch a concert at Eisenhower, hike at Garvies Point, watch an old-time baseball game at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, or enjoy a day at the beach, there’s something for everyone. With more and more people staying close to home, a ‘staycation’ right here in Nassau County is a great way to spend the summer,” said Mangano.
For more information on Nassau County’s parks, please visit http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Parks/index.html or call (516) 572-0200.
NASSAU COUNTY PARKS IMPROVEMENTS
> Christopher Morley Park, Roslyn-North Hills - A new playground has been installed to replace the old one, with work nearly completed. The playground incorporates slides, climbing apparatus and Jungle Jims, among other features.
> Herricks Pond Park Education Area, Herricks - Construction has just begun on this $215,000 project to convert a drab “passive” park into a community showcase with a new walkway, pond overlook and native Long Island plantings. The project also incorporates a small educational amphitheater that can be used by the nearby grade school and a new school bus “cutoff” to safely accommodate the children. The school currently uses the park for science-related educational activities.
> Roslyn Grist Mill & Cedarmere, Roslyn - Following decades of inattention and deterioration, the historic Roslyn Grist Mill is being prepared for a $2 million facelift, through a combination of funding from EBA and the Gerry Charitable Trust. Work will include restoration and reconstruction of missing equipment, foundation, woodwork, windows, and exterior. Cedarmere, the historic property of William Cullen Bryant, is undergoing a $1.7 million renovation that includes the exterior of the Bryant home and the 1863 Gothic mill by the property’s pond. A third element includes exterior restoration work on the 1862 Jerusha Dewey house on the nearby Bryant Preserve (home of the Nassau County Museum of Art).
> Sands Point Preserve, Sands Point - A $1.1 million project, comprising County and New York State funding, will allow the County to replace windows at historic Hempstead House.
> Stannards Brook Park, Port Washington - Commencing shortly, the $840,000 renovation of this 3-acre park will include new entrances with pergolas, as well as new lighting, fencing, guard rails, bridges, pathways, and benches. In addition, new wetland and upland landscaping materials will be planted and educational features added. The existing stream channel will also be realigned and the culverts modified to reduce flooding.
> Brookside Preserve, Baldwin/Freeport - With planning underway, this project will involve various improvements to this small County preserve by the old Brooklyn Water Works, including new plantings, removal of invasive species, fencing and signage.
> Cantiague Park, Hicksville - A $3 million project at this park involves the addition of a second multi-sport artificial turf field with lighting and seating. Additionally, at the skating rink, new boards and lighting will be installed and the County is reviewing a new lobby design.
> Eisenhower Park Accessible Playground, East Meadow - Scheduled for groundbreaking in late summer, this $1.1 million project involves the construction of a fully accessible playground, meaning children suffering from a range of disabilities can use this playground (“No Child Left Inside”). The project is being carried out by the “Let the Children Play Foundation,” with majority of funding from Environmental Bond Act.
> Hall’s Pond, West Hempstead - With work beginning in early July, this $1.3 million project includes efforts to reduce the large amount of floatable debris in the pond, institution of geese control, restoration of forested areas and construction of trails in the wooded part of the park, repair of gazebo, and installation of a playground.
> Long Island Motor Parkway -With master plans expected by the end of the summer, the first part of the $455,000 project involves a piece of the former Parkway in Levittown that in the early part of the 20th century served as the grandstand for the races held at the Parkway. Work involves building a new trail that links to existing cycling/hiking trails to the east and west. The intention is to build on the momentum of this initial construction to wrap in other localities along the former Parkway and create cycling/hiking trails along the entire route.
> Bird Sanctuary, Floral Park - Currently under construction, this $320,000 project in Floral Park involves park improvements in a County sump that has been turned into a popular local bird sanctuary. Work includes the installation of pathways, lighting and construction of a wet meadow that collects rain water in the bottom of a storm-water basin and channels it to the wet meadow.
> Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Old Bethpage - Under design, this $524,000 project involves the construction of a barn to support the existing organic farm, new restrooms, ADA access, and other improvements.
> Hicksville Soccer Field, Hicksville - Under construction in 2010, this $280,000 project provides for the creation of a soccer field out of an empty field adjoining a County sump.
> Hempstead Plains Interpretive Center, Nassau Community College (NCC) - This $400,000 project will enhance the NCC part of the Hempstead Plains. It will include a nature playground, visitor center/classroom and renovation of the parking lot.
> Plainedge Soccer Field, Plainedge - Completed last fall, this project involved the modification of a storm basin (sump) for dual use, i.e., incorporating a soccer field.
> Massapequa Preserve, Massapequa - Largely completed, this $8 million storm water management project is the single largest project being carried out in the parks system. The major component in the project, augmenting the stream flow, has a twofold purpose: to allow the stream to flow more consistently during dry weather; and provide colder water to the stream in an effort to provide habitat for cool-water fish species (trout). There are additional improvements taking place at this very popular preserve, new benches, lighting and access points, as well as improved hiking trails.
> Nickerson Beach Park, Lido - Near completion, a new nautical-themed playground is being constructed by the cabana and pool area on the west end of the 121-acre park. The playground incorporates slides, climbing apparatus and a ship with various interactive features. In addition, a new administrative building has been constructed in the same area.
> Wantagh Park, Marine Playground, Wantagh -Recently completed after years of deterioration, renovations include a $400,000 “low-impact” recreational area. The playground has been completely renovated with a nautical theme that befits the park’s location by the water (East Bay); it is designed for younger children. The playground retains the renovated ship that has stood as the focal point of the play area for decades, includes slides, swings, climbing apparatus and “spring animals” in the form of sea creatures. In addition, paths have been repaved to accommodate youngsters’ bicycles. Wantagh also has a second and larger playground area with traditional attractions. The project comes on top of the rehab work that was done last year for the marina at this park.
> Washington Avenue Park, Seaford - Near completion, this Washington Avenue Park is undergoing a magnificent overhaul that includes renovation of two Little League baseball fields to incorporate artificial turf infields, newly seeded outfield with irrigation, new dugouts, new stands for spectators, and new fencing. Elsewhere in the park, the work includes the addition of separate play areas for preschoolers and older children in the playground area; new pathways; a limited fitness trail; and a new restroom area.
> Water Trail Master Plan, South Shore (Freeport) - Approximately $50,000 will be used to create a water trail for kayaks and canoes along the South Shore stretching from Bay Park on the west to Massapequa on the east and wrapping in Shell Creek in the Rockaways, Baldwin Park, Levy Preserve, Cow Meadow and Wantagh parks. Nassau County will be joined in this initiative by the Village of Freeport, which is also providing funding. Funding will provide for maps, website, signs, and docking. Additionally, Environmental Bond Act funding of $70,000 will allow the Village of Freeport to acquire two boats to manage debris collection along various South Shore locations (various additional storm water projects are also being funded for Freeport).
> Friendly Farm, North Merrick - With demolition and construction set to begin by September, this 10-acre property was acquired under the Environmental Bond Act, with future work involving the demolition of the existing farm stand and construction of a new one. Plans call for the potential occupancy of the property by an agricultural group and the potential for some farming to take place.