Photo from Daily News
Abstract from NYC Parks Department’s survey of Ridgewood Reservoir by Round Mountain Biological and Environmental:
“We conducted a survey of the flora and fauna of the Ridgewood Reservoir site in Queens, NY, in the summer and fall of 2007. No less than ten plant and animal species listed as Threatened, Endangered or Special Concern in New York State were found at the site. A total of 173 plant species were observed, three of which are listed as Threatened or Endangered in New York State. Several plant communities observed were also of significant conservation concern.
A total of 127 bird species were observed during fall migration at the site, including seven species which are listed as Threatened or Special Concern in New York State. A breeding bird survey conducted by local naturalists in 2007 also confirmed or suspected 38 bird species to be nesting at the site.
[Invasive tree] species should be actively replaced with native species that have comparable or greater ecosystem, wildlife and aesthetic values, using seed collected onsite or from nearby natural areas. This would not only serve to inhibit the future growth of invasive species, but would enhance the native species diversity at the site, which appears to be somewhat diminished by its severe isolation from other existing natural areas.
Activities such as exotic plant removal, native species planting and propagation, and biological monitoring offer excellent opportunities for environmental education, research and community involvement. The development of such programs and activities would be further facilitated by establishing a small nature center at the site. By combining the resources of the park system and local community to bring about the conservation and restoration of the site, Ridgewood Reservoir could effectively become a model of environmental stewardship for other parks in New York City, and the world, well into the future.”
Despite this, Parks still has their eyes on developing half of the lush green oasis in the westernmost basin, Queens Parks Commissioner Dottie Lewandowski told the Daily News today:
While the topography and ecology of two of the three reservoir basins makes them unsuitable for development, she said, an 11-acre portion of the West Basin could be developed for active recreation.
She would not say what type of active recreation is being considered.
(Actually, she kind of did by saying, "you can play ball informally or formally.")
Ron Bourque, a member of the conservation committee of the New York City Audubon Society, said breaching the basin's thick perimeter wall to allow for development would be expensive.
"Preserving the natural areas and doing things based on that would be more economical and would make a lot more sense," he said.
Yes, but this is the Parks Department we're dealing with here. They frequently make no sense.
PlaNYC's new slogan: Planting a million trees by 2030 (while cutting a million down)