Rendering of St. Saviour's Park (2010). The City Parks Foundation has narrowed the proposed list of Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant mitigation funded projects to 26 possibilities. While the majority of the projects center around Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where the plant is located, there are several projects focused in Queens. Chief among them is using the funds to help create a desperately needed park at the former St. Saviour’ church site. Park and open space advocates have pressing the city to create park at this location for years.
Years of rampant pollution and mismanagement at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment plant will soon pay off for the surrounding community, and possibly provide funds for the local projects such as a public park at the former St. Saviour’s site in Maspeth, according to Forum News.
In 2008, the city and state reached a landmark agreement to bring the plant, the city’s largest treatment facility, to federal environmental compliance. As part of that agreement, $10 million was allocated for environmental benefit projects, and the City Parks Foundation was chosen to establish a process to determine what the community wants before the state Department of Environmental Conservation makes a selection.
After careful deliberation, planning and public hearings, the City Parks Foundation has narrowed the proposed list of projects to 26 possibilities. While the majority of the projects center around Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where the plant is located, there are several projects focused in Queens.
Chief among the Queens project is creating a park at the former church site, an idea that has been discussed for years. As recently as this September’s Community Board 5 meeting, Christina Wilkinson, president of the Newtown Historical Society, made a case for the city to buy the land and create a public park. Other plans for the site, which activists including Wilkinson and the Juniper Park Civic Association fought against, called for residential houses or warehouses to be built on the land.
The proposal to use the Newtown Creek funds to create a park at the site was given a “B” grade at the City Parks Foundation’s October 28 public hearing. The project is possible, but faces challenges because the government does not own the site.
“We could secure all the funding and the owner could say I don’t really want to sell it,” said David Ravel, City Parks Foundation spokesman. “It’s contingent on something else.” Other projects call for updates to existing parkland, which the foundation knows they can immediately begin work on.
Forum News - November 11, 2010 - By Eric Yun
A Walk In The Park - July 16, 2010
A Walk In The Park - May 17, 2010 - By Christina Wilkinson
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