The reservoir's historic structures & ecosystems are an opportunity to create a unique environmental education center for our children & their future.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waterworks Bike Tour

OLD BROOKLYN WATERWORKS BIKE TOUR

Michael Miscione, the Manhattan Borough Historian, will lead a bicycle tour of the now defunct water supply that served the once-independent City of Brooklyn. The system built in the 19th century brought fresh water from Queens and Long Island into the city. It was largely abandoned after Brooklyn was consolidated into NYC in 1898, and its components -- pipes, reservoirs, pumping stations, wells etc. were dismantled, built over or repurposed. But some remnants and ruins still exist, and can be seen if you know where to look.

Note: This is NOT a free event! The tour is sponsored by NYC H2O.


Saturday, October 18, 2014, 11:00am

The tour meets at the Ridgewood Reservoir.

The ride will last about 3 hours and cover about 15 miles.

Bring your own (functional) bike and a sandwich.

To register or request more information click here:


Send us an email

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ridgewood Walking Tour

Tour cancelled

We regret to inform you that this Sunday's tour of Ridgewood will be postponed to a yet-to-be-determined date.

The Newtown Historical Society has an upcoming walking tour of Ridgewood:


Please RSVP to (718) 366-3715 or newtownhistory@gmail.com if you wish to attend this event.

Send us an email

Juniper Berry Article

Below is an article I wrote for the current issue of the magazine "Juniper Berry":



Send us an email

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nature and history tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir

On Sunday, October 5, Newtown Historical Society will be offering a special nature and history tour of the Ridgewood Reservoir starting at 9am in the main parking lot on Vermont Place at Highland Park. We will view the historic structures in the recently renovated park, observe the natural world and discuss its future.

You can take public transportation to Highland Park. The B13 bus stops along Cypress Hills Street and the Q56 stops along Jamaica Avenue. The Cleveland Street stop on the J train is 3 blocks from the park. Or, you can drive or bike.

This tour will be led by special guest Rob Jett, author of The City Birder.

This tour is 100% FREE and will be a great experience for children and adults alike. For more info or to RSVP, write to NewtownHistory@gmail.com or call 718-366-3715.

It is suggested that you bring sunblock and water. You may also wish to bring binoculars and cameras.

Send us an email

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More Media Coverage

We even got our story covered in Nowy Dziennik (Polish Daily News)!

Read the fairly accurate Google Translate version of the article here.


Send us an email

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Walk in the Park blog article

"A Walk in the Park" just posted a really good reservoir piece today:

DEC/Parks Department Reverse Ridgewood Reservoir Culvert Plan

The decommissioned Ridgewood Reservoir in Highland Park is a natural oasis on the Queens-Brooklyn border. Activists were worried that a state-mandated plan to cut culverts in the reservoir would have impacted the natural beauty of the area. Citizens were concerned that this could pave the way for future development.

Queens-Brooklyn

By Geoffrey Croft
For years the community fought vehemently against Mayor Bloomberg's $50 million PlaNYC proposal to clear out 20 acres of one of the basins for ballfields and develop the natural area for active recreation.

It appears these efforts may finally be paying off.

Click here to read the entire story.

Send us an email

Another Queens Courier Article

The following article was just published in the Queens Courier:

New hope for Ridgewood Reservoir
By Salvatore Licata | slicata@queenscourier.com

The Ridgewood Reservoir is gaining some dam support.

The head of the state Department of Environmental Conservation told lawmakers that the city Parks Department requested his agency reclassify the reservoir as a “low hazard” dam, which would obviate the need for a $6 million construction project to prevent flooding.

The reservoir has been listed as a major flood hazard with potential to do damage to its surroundings. In order to minimize the risk of flooding, the Parks Department planned to connect the reservoir’s three basins by creating three large breaches in the reservoir’s surrounding berms.

“If reclassified, the Class A [low flood threat] designation will allow Parks to maintain the reservoir as a dam, without necessitating breaching the structure and all the associated intrusions, such as access-road construction, tree removal and habitat disturbance,” DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens wrote in a Sept. 2 letter.

Martens said his staff felt the downgrade “may be technically justified,” and that the Parks Department is “in the process of submitting additional information to justify this reclassification,” raising the possibility that the reservoir can be fully preserved.

“We share your view that the reservoir is a unique, historic site that over the years has reverted to nature and has become a haven for wildlife, as well as local residents seeking respite from urbanized surroundings,” Martens wrote.

The letter also said that the DEC is developing a schedule to map the wetlands in the three basins of the reservoir, starting early this fall.

This initial work will identify the exact boundaries of each of the wetlands and what conditions exist there.

Even though the letter is a step forward in the fight to save the reservoir, state Sen. Joe Addabbo remains skeptical.

“I will not rest until there is an A classification [low flood risk] letter from the Parks Department in my hand,” Addabbo said. “I am optimistic we will get what we want but just something more definitive.”


Send us an email