NYC H2O, which provides education programs on New York City’s water system and ecology, got the reservoir listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. The state also designated it as a Class 1 Wetland, protecting threatened and endangered species living there.
Since 2014, the organization has brought more than 5,000 Brooklyn and Queens students on field trips to experience the reservoir up close.
Last week, NYC H2O called for a city bus stop at the Ridgewood Reservoir, which would allow more students to access the historic wetland.
“Despite its beauty, ecological importance and open access, the Ridgewood Reservoir, which is proximate to some of the poorest areas in New York City, is impossible to reach by public transportation,” the group said in a release. “We are calling on the MTA and New York City to walk the talk and provide access to those New Yorkers most in need of quality green space.”
The nonprofit noted that the closest subway station to the reservoir is the J train at Norwood Avenue, which is a mile away.
The closest bus stop, meanwhile, is the Q56 at Jamaica and Shepherd avenues, which is half a mile away from the reservoir.
“The Ridgewood Reservoir is a hidden gem on the border of Queens and Brooklyn,” Councilman Robert Holden said in a statement, “and any additional method to bring people to the reservoir to connect with nature is welcomed.”
“New Yorkers from all five boroughs should be able to enjoy the Ridgewood Reservoir and the quality green space that it provides,” added Councilman Antonio Reynoso. “However, this will only be possible if the reservoir is accessible by public transportation.”
The MTA is currently undergoing a redesign of its bus network, and is still soliciting input from the public.
MTA spokesperson Amanda Kwan said they are currently working on a report of existing conditions of the Queens bus network, with input from customers who attended their recent open houses.
They will continue public outreach once the existing conditions report is released, and will then work on a draft proposal of the network redesign in the fall.
The final redesign plan will be shared with the public for more feedback and comments by spring 2020.
“We are taking a clean-slate approach to redesigning the Queens bus network, where all local and express bus routes are being studied to see how we can better serve more than 714,000 Queens bus riders and attract new customers,” Kwan said in a statement.
“We are studying current ridership patterns and areas where we can add or enhance service that have potential for growth,” she added, “and this request is precisely the feedback and public input we are seeking to inform our Queens bus redesign as we work to improve service for our customers.”