Glenville Park Nature Preserve 12-4-02

Glenville Park Nature Reserve


Proposed Children’s Park and Nature Reserve


A Neighborhood Perspective


Submitted by Richard J. Garfunkel

Member of the Parks and Recreation Commission

December 4, 2002




I.                    The Glenville Park Preserve: This undeveloped woods and wetlands area is a tract of land that is located off Rte. 119 or White Plains Road. In actuality it fronts onto Old White Plains Road, in the Glenville section of Tarrytown. Turning off Rte. 119 and proceeding approximately 150 feet one reaches the Old White Plains Road section that I am describing. This dead-end street stretches about one-quarter mile from end to end. On this stretch of Old White Plains Road, one finds the Wedged-In, a deli-convenience store on left of the Park, and on the right of the Park one sees the rocky boundaries of the Dunning Street home property. This undeveloped tract of woods and wetlands stretches from a narrow opening into a rear area that includes two partially stagnant ponds, that are overgrown with natural foliage and are laden with fallen branches and downed trees. There is a pathway that allows individuals to walk, with care around the ponds to a man-made waterfall. This waterfall, at the time of my visit was reduced to a trickle. I was told that during a steady or aggressive rain or storm, the run-off was quite significant. Beyond the rocky waterfall the woods stretched a considerable distance. In fact one could eventually walk far beyond the ponds and eventually reach the hilly boundaries of both the Watch Hill properties on the upper right and the Dunning Street homes. Also one could reach the woods, up to the left that border on the Hackley School property that is located a considerable distance up and along Benedict Avenue.



II.                 The Parks and Recreation Department Concept: The concept is to create a small recreation park for children in front of the wooded area. There would be an effort made to make a “walking path” from that park to the ponds. The ponds would be cleaned of the floating logs and collapsed trees and branches. The shorelines would be weeded and the natural growth would be encouraged. The surrounding path would be made safer and more accessible to nature hikers of all ages. The area around the falls would be evaluated in regards to safety. It would be envisioned that the path would eventually continue deeper into the wooded area and connect to the Hackley property. There was also a thought, proposed by the consulting engineer, to the Commissioner that the nature path could be extended to the Tarrytown Lakes.


a)      Suggestions that were offered by the Commissioner and the consultant regarded: the placement of benches, the granting of easements, and the creation of connections from and through the Watch Hill and Dunning properties.

b)      Also the Commissioner asked for input regarding the type of playground, for whom it be constructed, and the potential parking spaces that would service the park. The connection with the Wedge-In was also discussed.


III.               Neighborhood Impact:  This wooded tract of land borders on the property of the Wedged-In, the Dunnings homes and the Watch Hill neighborhood. After the Parks and Recreation Commission’s presentation on November 9, 2002, I was able to meet with a number of residents from the Dunning area, the Watch Hill area and the owners of the Wedged-In. I solicited their views and was able to discuss a future meeting with the elected neighborhood representatives of the Watch Hill area, where I also reside. This meeting was held on December 1, 2002, with the officers of the Watch Hill Neighborhood Association.



IV.              Preliminary Conclusions: In my discussions with the Dunning area residents, I discerned a concern over security. Their main thoughts were not about access to the park from their area, but their concern that “outsiders” would have access to the rear of their homes. They also worried about the potential liability incurred by a path that would border on sharply sloped rock formations. The owners of the Wedge-In felt that they had cooperated with the needs of the residents and the Town and would be happy with a small park and a clean-up of the ponds. The meeting with the officials of the Watch Hill Neighborhood Association was quite frank and forthright. Their thoughts were of the following:


a)      There should be a recreation park for small pre-school youngsters

b)      The ponds and their surrounding areas should be cleared.

c)      The paths should be made safe.

d)      There should be “no lighting.”

e)      There should be “no eating,” because of health and sanitation concerns over vermin.

f)        There should be “no basketball” courts that could encourage late night “hang-outs”

g)      There was no need or desire for any upper paths from Phase II or Phase III to the nature path that would wind within the nature park for the following reasons: security, liability, health reasons (animals, deer ticks, etc.)1
























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