FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2015
MEDIA CONTACTS: Carole Trottere, Ryan Mulholland, Sam Marksheid, and Rebecca Cheng | (516) 869-7794
Town of North Hempstead Cuts Ribbon on Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail
One mile extension makes it one of longest nature trails on LI
North Hempstead, NY – North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth, the Town Board, various elected officials and community groups joined together today as the Town officially opened the newly-expanded Hempstead Harbor Shoreline Trail. The trail, which begins at North Hempstead Beach Park, and runs south adjacent to West Shore Road, was previously one quarter-mile long from May Newburger Cove to the first overlook, but has now been expanded by one mile, making the trail a total of 1.25 miles in length.
The day marked the culmination of nearly a decade of applying for grant funding and acquiring land in order to make the trail’s expansion a reality. Construction on the project began just months after Supervisor Bosworth took office in January 2014 and was completed by Galvin Brothers, with the engineering done by GEI Consultants. Both companies had representatives on hand at the ceremony.
“It is so thrilling to have our very own nature trail right here in North Hempstead where residents can walk, jog or hike,” said Supervisor Bosworth, who has made revitalization of the waterfront one of her top priorities. “This trail fits directly into our vision of making North Hempstead Beach Park a premiere recreational destination for people of all ages.”
Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio who represents the Port Washington area said, “North Hempstead Beach Park is a hidden gem that clearly has much untapped potential. This extension of the Shoreline Trail is a wonderful improvement, and one more positive step towards achieving that potential.”
The 1.25 mile meandering path is lined with benches, native plants and a bridge that takes hikers over water. Sections of the trail that lead to overlooks are surfaced with a composite material that makes it handicapped accessible. Other sections along the trail are lined with woodchips. The Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee provided informational signs about nature and wildlife that are placed at several overlook points. The Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee has worked closely with the Town to identify the needs of the harbor and waterfront.
Eric Swenson, Executive Director of the Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee said, “Shoreline trails provide an excellent and easy way for the public to access and enjoy their waterfronts. In many parts of the country, the public is denied access to nearby waterfronts because the land is privately owned. Hempstead Harbor is fortunate not only to have a good portion of its shores publically-owned, but to have several waterfront trails. The crown jewel of these trails is the Town of North Hempstead’s Shoreline Trail, which provides breathtaking views of the lower harbor, its wildlife and historic sites.”
Carol DiPaolo, Programs Director of the Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor, said “The completion of the trail following the wetlands restoration on the harbor’s western shore marks another outstanding improvement for Hempstead Harbor. The trail provides a great educational opportunity by affording community residents access to the water’s edge so they can observe the shore birds and marine life that depend on the harbor for their habitat.”
The cost of the trail was approximately $800,000 and was completed with the aid of a $100,000 grant from the 2004 Nassau County Bond Act and a $271,000 grant from New York State Parks. Representatives, including County Legislator Delia Deriggi-Whitton and New York State Parks Deputy Regional Director Brian Foley were also present for the ribbon cutting.
“I am pleased that the County has been able to secure funding to assist with this project,” Legislator Deriggi-Whitton said. “There are few places more beautiful to walk along than Hempstead Harbor’s shoreline. I am confident that many people will enjoy it for years to come!”
Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington, also had representatives in attendance including President Dan Donatelli and Executive Director Mindy Germain, who have worked closely with the Town over the years to create the vision of the waterfront in Port Washington. They were joined by students from the Schreiber Tree Huggers who have also been part of this process.
“This project started twenty years ago with a vision for a shoreline to shoreline trail system, growing from hands-on community involvement and realized through the steadfast efforts of many, particularly the Town of North Hempstead under the leadership of Supervisor Judi Bosworth,” Donatelli said. “This mile expansion is a remarkable community amenity and a step forward towards our vision.”
The Town continues to look at further expansions of this trail which can be completed contingent on acquisition of further grant funding. This effort goes hand in hand with a Request for Proposals the Town will soon be issuing for visioning of the waterfront.
“This trail expansion is a wonderful start to what I hope will be a continuing effort to develop our waterfront thoughtfully,” Supervisor Bosworth said. “I look forward to continuing to work with all levels of government and our environmentally-minded community groups as we strive to make Hempstead Harbor one of the most exciting waterfront destinations on Long Island.”
For any questions about the Hempstead Harbor Trail, North Hempstead Beach Park, or the Town’s vast network of parks facilities, please call 311. To view an upcoming television program about the Hempstead Harbor Trail, log on to www.mynhtv.com or www.youtube.com/townofnorthhempstead on or after June 1st. North Hempstead TV can also be found on Channel 18 or 63 on Cablevision and Channel 46 on Verizon FIOS.
From left, Nicole Duckham, representative for Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel; County Legislator Delia Deriggi-Whitton; Councilwoman Lee Seeman; Carol DiPaolo, Program Director, Coalition to Save Hempstead Harbor; Eric Swenson, Executive Director, Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee; Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio; Councilman Peter Zuckerman; Supervisor Judi Bosworth; Brian Foley, Deputy Regional Director, New York State Parks; Town Clerk Wayne Wink; Councilwoman Anna Kaplan; Receiver of Taxes Charles Berman; Dan Donatelli, President, Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington; Barbara Donno, representative for NY State Senator Jack Martins.