Today’s news:

Reconstruction of Veterans Park stalled

The restoration of Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park is moving forward, but the work may not begin as soon as was originally believed.

Contrary to what Parks had previously said, a spokeswoman said that no bids had yet been awarded for the fencing that is to be constructed at the park. This was to be the first phase of the project.

There will be new fencing separating the public park from the private Edgewater Park housing development and for securing the Throggs Neck Girls Softball League Field, which has been vandalized repeatedly. It was previously hoped that all bids would be awarded by the fall, and that some construction could occur over the winter.

In June, the Parks Department put out a request for proposals to companies for the construction of a new staircase and extended sidewalk along the park, rehab of the existing asphalt paths, and addition of greenscapes containing grasses, fencing, flower gardens, and about 12 new trees.

Pat Devine is spearheading the effort to get the park revitalized, and is most excited about what he calls a “victory garden” celebrating veterans everywhere. Devine spoke of reactivating a committee called Friends of Veterans Memorial Park, which will work with the community for the betterment of the park, which he calls an “oasis in the city.”

Devine was part of the original group that pushed for the park’s creation in the 1970s.

“We are going to reactivate the committee,” Devine said. “We will bring in the boy scouts and girl scouts, who can earn merit badges for helping to improve the park, and also we’ll work with the Throggs Neck Girl’s Softball league, which wants to be involved.”

Devine said that an Edgewater Park gardening committee is also interested in working to make the park more appealing, and should be helping with new planting in addition to those by the Parks Department.

He said that once construction on the project is well underway, the next goal that he plans to work on is a revitalization of the natural habitat around Weir Creek.

“We are looking into planting eel grass in the creek to restore it to its natural environment,” Devine said. “It’s all just mud right now, but planting the eel grass is going to restore the entire ecosystem of the creek.”

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