Parks Department Unveils Plans for Ridgewood Reservoir but Lacks Funding

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The New York City parks department held a meeting earlier this month to reveal several possibilities for a master plan for the 55 acre Ridgewood Reservoir. The site, a reservoir that served Brooklyn between 1858 and 1959, was drained in 1989, and is now part of Highland Park. Since then, it has been largely left alone and returned to the wild. Today the three basins that once held water have become wetlands, a large pond and woodland, and the entire area has become an important stop on the Atlantic Flyway for migrating birds. The park is home to 127 bird species at any given time including seven that are threatened or endangered. The park was part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 master plan and was originally funded with $50 million. In that plan, one of the basins was to be cleared and converted into playing fields. As budgets tightened, the money disappeared and the Parks Department made only small changes to the perimeter of the park. After years of study the parks department has now offered up three possible plans for the future of the former reservoir ranging from the least invasive, Concept Plan A  which allows only limited public access and a few walkways through one of the basins, to Concept Plan C which includes some playing fields and differing levels of pubic access to all the basins. However, funding remains an issue for these new plans too. One activist quoted by Save Ridgewood Reservoir, said, “The bad news is there’s no funding stream – but it’s also the good news that there’s no money. It’s good news because that means the city won’t destroy the place.”

The community will be able to pick and choose between elements of all of the plans in making its final recommendation. Comments can be mailed to Community Board 5, 61-23 Myrtle Ave,. Glendale, NY 11385; or emailed to qnscb5@nyc.rr.com. See the other plans after the jump.

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Have Plans but No Cash [Times Newsweekly]
City Officials Unveil Plans for Ridgewood Reservoir But There is No Funding for Any of It [Save Ridgewood Reservoir] GMAP