In an effort to preserve the natural beauty of the reservoir, the board voted to follow the lead of its Parks Committee and oppose decommissioning the dam in Forest/Highland Park with a unanimous 30 to 0 vote at their monthly meeting last week at Christ the King High School, located at 6802 Metropolitan Ave.
Steven Fiedler, the committee chair, presented the board’s plan to move the proposed access point to Basin 3 of the park from the southwest corner to the northwest edge for better access and to preserve the natural plant life.
"There are so few nature preserves left in Queens, why destroy it?" Fiedler asked at the meeting.
The board sent a letter to the department last week calling for the reconsideration of the proposed 11-foot high, 14-foot-wide and 46-foot-long access gate at the Southwest portion of Basin 3. It instead called for utilizing gates similar to those at the entrances of Basins 1 and 2; a four-foot-high, 10-foot-wide and 32-foot-long gate.
“When looking at it, we noticed they’d have to cut a 20-foot-wide road on the west edge of Basin 3 and remove some good plants and bad plants,” explained CB5 chair Vincent Arcuri. “They would build a construction road that would stay forever.”
The committee’s call for a “much less invasive plan” suggests that the newly proposed gate placement would be “more in line with the breaches planned between Basins 1 and 2, and between Basins 2 and 3.”
CB5 district manager Gary Giordano is hopeful the city will reconsider their current plans.
“I think the essence of that recommendation is to put it on the north in line with where those coverts are planned so that you don’t have to destroy everything from the south end to the north end to make a roadway,” Giordano explained. “This way they can get their vehicles in, and in line with where they have to do the work.”