State allots $1.6M in grants for development of Fresh Kills, High Rock Park
Staten Island has received $1.6 million in state grant money for revitalization and development projects at the former Fresh Kills landfill and High Rock Park.
Fresh Kills received $1.25 million, which will go toward continuing the former dump’s transformation into a city park.
A two-story bird observation tower will be built overlooking Maine Creek, with a pathway from the tower to a parking lot on the eastern side of the West Shore Expressway a little more than half a mile away.
In addition, nine acres of the park will be cultivated as a “founder seed farm” and tree nursery, with seed collected from wild populations that will encourage native vegetation development.
A composting toilet comfort station will also be installed with lighting and exhaust systems powered by photovoltaic panels.
High Rock received a $447,000 grant, which will help complete the restoration of 90 acres of park property.
The restoration project will include the eradication of non-native invasive species and restoration planting of endemic species; three seasonal internships to assist the project; community outreach and hosting a dozen volunteer events in each of three years, and restoration site monitoring.
The money comes from a pot of $23 million allocated around the state from the Environmental Protection Fund’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.
“A vibrant waterfront is a key element of a successful coastal, riverside or lakeside community,” said Gov. David Paterson. “These awards will help cities, towns and villages expand public access to our state’s numerous bodies of water and protect the environment, while also boosting tourism and economic development opportunities.”
With these awards, 1,164 Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grants have been awarded through the state Department of State since 1994, totaling more than $169 million.
By Tom Wrobleski
Staten Island Advance