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

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Reservoir History Tours

The following tours are being offered by friend and supporter Matt Malina over at NYC H20:



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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Assemblyman Mike Miller Letter

New York State Assemblyman Mike Miller wrote a great letter to the NYSDEC in support of our cause:



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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Reservoir Destruction Plan Highlights

Below are are couple of key drawings from the department of parks plans for "decommissioning" the Ridgewood Reservoir. Note that what they refer to as "culverts" are in reality 11' X 14' tunnels designed to allow large trucks access to the reservoir basins. This would permit parks to drive their large maintenance vehicles into the wetland and forested habitats to clear them for eventual development, something they've been trying to cram down the throats of the surrounding communities for the past 7 years.


Here is a detail of the planned "culvert":


Here's another view of one of the $11,000,000.00 "culverts" that the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation plans of building by blasting holes into the walls of historic Ridgewood Reservoir:


I don't know how well the parks department has been maintaining your neighborhood parks, but if they spent anywhere near $11 million on mine, they'd certainly look and operate a lot better than they have for many years.

If you are sick and tired of the parks department wasting money while your local park falls into disrepair, please send us a note. I'll post the best of them.

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Final Blow Delivered to the Ridgewood Reservoir

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation Will Destroy Reservoirs

Beginning in August of this year the parks department will start a process that will, in short order, spell the end of the unique habitats within the Ridgewood Reservoir's three basins. Through a freedom of information request we have acquired their plans submitted to the department of environmental conservation for breaching all three basin walls. You can download them at the links below.

Download •FINAL_Ridgewood_Permit.pdf
Download Appendix F - IO.pdf
Download Appendix A - Permit Drawings.pdf

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Free Lecture

Friday January 31 at 7 p.m.
Brooklyn College

Source: Long Island Press
In the 19th century Brooklyn was the third largest city in the US behind New York and Philadelphia. A network of reservoirs and wells was built to supply its residents with water and reached out to eastern Long Island. Still the quantity and quality of water could not keep up with the growing demand. The situation grew so severe that assuring access to a water supply played a major role in the Brooklyn decision to consolidate with Manhattan into NYC in 1899.

Join NYC H2O as Jeffrey Kroessler, PhD recounts the challenges and legacy of the Old Brooklyn Waterworks.
Dr. Kroessler is an associate professor in the Lloyd Sealy Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is the author of New York, Year by Year and The Greater new York Sports Chronology, and has published articles on the history of the New York and Brooklyn water systems.

Tickets are free but donations are welcome. RSVP here

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Friday, October 18, 2013

New Pathway Photos

Here are a few photos of the renovated pathway:


All photographs by Matt Schicker

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One More Article

The parks department's PR office somehow even managed to get an article into "Broadway World":

Photo Flash: NYC Parks Cuts Ribbon on Highland Park Renovated Paths

October 15

NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White today joined Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Council Member Elizabeth Crowley, Assembly Member Rafael Espinal, and members of community boards in both Queens and Brooklyn, to cut the ribbon on renovated paths through Highland Park and around the park's Ridgewood Reservoir. The $6.92 million construction project was funded by Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC initiative and also includes new fencing, pathways, lighting plantings. Scroll down for photos!

"Highland Park has long been one of the City's best places to catch a glimpse of native and migrating birds or to enjoy the changing foliage," said Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. "Thanks to nearly $7 million invested by Mayor Bloomberg, it is now a great place to exercise, and even more accessible to all New Yorkers. I encourage everyone to visit and see all that their local parks have to offer."

After active use of the Ridgewood Reservoir stopped in the 1960s, it became home to a unique ecosystem, including more than 100 species of birds. The first phase of improvements, including new lighting, restored pathways, wheelchair-accessible entry points, and new fencing, was completed earlier this summer. Parks is currently working with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation on plans to decommission the reservoir's dam, required as a result of new safety regulations instituted Hurricane Katrina. Conceptual master plans are also being created for further improvements to park infrastructure, including possible locations for pedestrian networks, active and passive recreation, playgrounds, and educational opportunities.

Highland Park and the Ridgewood Reservoir sit on a ridge with dramatic views of the Rockaways, Atlantic Ocean and nearby communities. It was acquired in pieces over time by the City of Brooklyn, Parks, and The Highland Park Society. The first purchase was in 1856 when the City of Brooklyn purchased the Snediker's cornfield to start the construction of the 50-acre Ridgewood Reservoir. This Reservoir was important as the population in Brooklyn was growing and there was a need for more water. The Reservoir was built in 1858 and held 154 million gallons. In 1889, the Reservoir was the last link in the aqueduct system that originated in Nassau County. In 1891, the land surrounding the reservoir, which in now Upper Highland Park, was purchased by the City of Brooklyn. Jurisdiction for this parcel was given to The Highland Park Society. This parcel helped to buffer the Reservoir from the pollutants generated by cemeteries and garbage plants.

In 1894, an iron fence was built around the Reservoir and ornamented with electric lamps.

The Reservoir operated as a water supply for Brooklyn from 1858 to 1959. In 1917, New York City Tunnel #1 was completed and brought water from north of the city, and in 1936, Tunnel #2 was completed. With the development of the Catskill aqueduct for New York City, Basins One and Three were drained. From 1960 to 1989, Basin Two was used as a backup water supply for Brooklyn and Queens. In 1990, the Department of Environmental Protection decommissioned the site. In 2004, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced its transfer to Parks, as well as plans to develop the site into a public park.

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