Hempstead Lake State Park improvements are part of the Living with the Bay initiative from the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR). Addressing problems with coastal surge and stormwater flooding, the reconstructions address stormwater flooding concerns, increase capacity and efficiency of the northern end Ponds, and introduces recreational and educational opportunities for people of all ages to learn about and connect with their natural environment. It includes four priority sections:
- Dams, Gatehouse and Bridges
- Northwest (NW) and Northeast (NE) Ponds
- Environmental Education and Resiliency Center
- Greenways, Gateways and Waterfront Access.
Access improvements including greenways, trails and new waterfront infrastructure, will increase the community’s connection to Mill River. It will be open to the public for recreational uses like walking, exercising, running, biking, horseback riding, bird watching, etcetera and provide connection points to the surrounding neighborhoods with attention to developing physical environmental connections to nearby underserved communities. The trails and greenway will also provide access to the ponds and lake for fishing and kayaking. The park will include new amenities like ADA compliant docks, educational signage, and open waterfront views. The improvements will provide new pedestrian access to adjoining low to moderate income communities with an added sense of security within the park by opening views and access points to emergency vehicles.
There is pushback on the plans to include an expanded multi-use path, from people concerned about the bird life when trees might be cut down, and an equestrian center that does not want to share horses with bicycles on a trail. All concerns are valid and there is a healthy balance to accommodate everyone. We are confident of that.
The Citizens Advisory Committee is hosting a meeting to discuss proposed renovations to the park on July 25 from 5:30 to 9:30 at Knights of Columbus, 2985 Kenneth Place in Oceanside.
Public comment period closes MONDAY JULY 17th! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated July 16, 2017