Thursday, May 15, 2008
Parks dumps toxic waste in wetland
The Ridgewood Reservoir has been written about a lot lately, and one of the reasons it is important is because it is a marsh listed on the National Wetlands Inventory. However, there is another site outside the reservoir but within Highland Park that is also on the inventory. The feds classify this site as "palustrine", meaning it is a non-tidal wetland dominated by trees and shrubs.
And here we have a shot of that wetland, located in the vicinity of the stone bridge, south of the picnic tables and parking lot. This area is known as the "ravine".
This is a serene scene, but if you look away from the water, you start to find a major pile of garbage.
How could the Parks Dept allow this condition to exist? Local residents claim they have observed Parks Dept contractors and workers doing the dumping on a regular basis!
Think this is farfetched? The items in the debris indicate that they come from the agency. For example, this is the top of a park lamppost.
The Queens Parks Commissioner, who achieved her status by illegally leapfrogging over a more qualified black candidate, must feel that this is a great hiding place for garbage. After all, this park serves mainly minority communities in Queens and Brooklyn, so that makes it a natural place to jettison unwanted crap, such as this air conditioner...
and toxic chemicals! Let's remember that this is part of the Jamaica Bay Watershed, and whatever seeps into the ground here ends up in the bay. Let's also remember that this is one of the parks that PlaNYC 2030 dubbed a "destination park". Right now, it's a destination for trash. Whether the Parks Dept is the one responsible for putting it there, I can't say in all certainty. But they are responsible for removing it.
Dottie: Time to clean up your act and our park. Please do so before the end of American Wetlands Month.