June 3, 2008
Plans for a Park in Queens
To the Editor:
Re “A Wilderness, Lost in the City,” by William C. Thompson Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Op-Ed, May 29):
One of the key goals of PlaNYC, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s far-reaching plan to fight global warming and create a more livable city, is to ensure that every New Yorker lives within a 10-minute walk of a park or open space.
Highland Park in Queens is one of eight large underdeveloped parks where we are expanding access to help achieve this goal.
As with all of these projects, the city holds listening sessions with community residents to incorporate their input into the design. Many options have been discussed, including one with athletic fields in a small area of the 50-acre Ridgewood Reservoir, an area that is composed primarily of invasive trees and vines that threaten the park’s ecological balance.
As we begin the design process, we look forward to continued collaboration with the community and with all interested New Yorkers in order to build the best possible park.
Adrian Benepe, Commissioner
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
Save Ridgewood Reservoir analyzed this recycled statement:
The listening sessions were reported here and here. Any discussions about designs that involved breaching the reservoir's retaining wall to install active recreation were one-sided. The parks department came up with the ideas, not the communities.
Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir fall within Queens Community Board 5 and Brooklyn Community Board 5. Both boards recently voted to opposed development within the basins and support the mission of the Highland Park/Ridgewood Reservoir Alliance.