Borough President Helen Marshall ended her final State of the Borough address at 11:15 a.m., and within minutes the contenders to fill her seat in the next election were hard at work with thoughts about Queens. The media rushed to Katz and Vallone like bees to honey.
One topic near to our heart: open space in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Marshall indicated that she was meeting with the USTA and Major League Soccer the next day, and would make it clear to both that preserving open space in the park is of great importance to her. Apparently, using Citi Field is not an option for MLS, and the National Tennis Center is busting at the seams, so it looks like we will be giving up space.
Letting the USTA and MLS build and expand in the park begs the question: what will Marshall ask for in return?. What about Meadow Lake and Willow Lake? If MLS is allowed to build in the pool next to the Unisphere – routinely considered an eyesore, and the USTA is able to expand out towards the center of the park, then the next eyesore is the lake area.
One of the main arguments for MLS building in the park is that the pool area near the Unisphere is in disrepair. If the “park advocates” want us to stop letting our park land disappear then fight to rehabilitate the lakes. They are polluted and in need of an ecological overhaul.
These manmade lakes, created for the 1939 World's Fair, can be saved, but it will take money. There are plenty of people who are ready to give it attention and there are enough environmentalists to get on the bandwagon.
Making the lakes environmentally friendly and the renewed interest would lead to rehabilitating the landscape surrounding the lake. What a feather in the cap for Marshall if she could get the USTA and MLS to pony up the money and resources to restore the lakes.
There have been numerous studies on the lakes outlining the issues; solutions to those issues could be just a few pen strokes away.