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Curran unveils plan for parks

County will invest $15 million in maintenance and enhancement


Local parks will undergo makeovers, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced on March 5, as she unveiled a comprehensive revitalization plan in Wantagh.

The county will invest $15 million in maintenance and enhancement projects for 10 local parks, including Wantagh Park and Cedar Creek Park in Wantagh, Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, Cow Meadow Park in Freeport and Bay Park in East Rockaway, Curran said at a news conference at the Wantagh Park Administration Building. The plan will focus on restoring and transforming Wantagh Park, Centennial Park in Roosevelt and Christopher Morley Park in Roslyn.

Six thousand acres of Nassau County’s 450 square miles comprise public and open space, Curran said. “Our goal is to ensure that we’re making the absolute most of our substantial green spaces,” she said. “We want to realize — as in, make real — the potential for each of our parks.”

To increase efficiency, Curran said, county Department of Public Works projects will be consolidated and streamlined into one strategic capital plan.

“This initiative will allow us to evaluate each construction project and each individual park for its own infrastructure and character,” she said. “Each of our parks are very different, and really do have their own personalities.”

Wantagh Park will receive a $1.5 million investment, and construction is slated to start this summer and be completed by 2020, according to a news release. Centennial Park and Christopher Morley Park will each receive $3 million investments. Bids for Centennial Park’s construction will go out this year, with construction anticipated in 2020. Christopher Morley Park’s construction is slated for completion before the summer season begins.

Wantagh Park’s makeover will include a new butterfly garden, upgrades to the North and Marine playgrounds and pickleball facilities. Centennial Park’s makeover will include makeovers to playgrounds, fencing and entrance gates, while Christopher Morley Park’s will include improvements to the main building and a complete restoration of the public area.

Cedar Creek Park and Bay Park will undergo building renovations, including Cedar Creek’s Police Athletic League building and Bay Park’s former administration building.

Bay Park and Eisenhower Park will also get cricket pitches. “I don’t know if you know this,” Curran said, “but cricket is on the rise,” Curran said.

Progress will continue on Eisenhower Park’s Motor Parkway Trail for new recreational uses, and the parks golf carts will be fitted with GPS navigation systems.

Cow Meadow Park will also see several projects, including renovations of all of its playgrounds and fields, refurbishment of the marina and an expansion of the beach for access for county and Freeport village residents. “There’s a beach at the end of Cow Meadow Park with sand and water . . . but it’s very small,” Curran said “We want to expand it and make it a real, proper beach.”

The county’s parks commissioner, Eillen Krieb, reminded news conference attendees that Eisenhower Park will be hosting The NEFCU Long Island Marathon Festival in May. More information can be found at https://bit.ly/2tR3lqt”bit.ly/2tR3lqt.

Brian Schneider, the deputy county executive for parks and public works, said that there is a greater availability of funding for parks-related construction and infrastructure improvements this year.

Curran said that improving the county’s parks means improving the lives of county residents. “Park maintenance and enhancement is key to making Nassau County a better place to live, work and, most importantly, play,” she said.