A long-awaited pocket park planned for the tip of City Island Avenue is now a step closer to becoming a reality.
The Parks Department has released a preliminary design for the Belden Point park, which will include a sitting area on the water with 1939-40 World’s Fair benches, plantings, and pavers.
Four new street trees on City Island Avenue near the park – sandwiched between Tony’s Restaurant and Johnny’s Reef – will be planted as part of the project.
The idea for Belden Point Park came from a committee established in 1997 by then-Governor George Pataki.
Community Board 10 Parks Committee chairwoman Virginia Gallagher served on the committee to study improvements to waterfront communities, and secured $200,000 in state funds under the Environmental Protection Fund.
“Since I was not an elected official, the money allocated was put into the general fund,” Gallagher said, “And every year, I would check the general fund to make sure that the money allocated remained.”
The site was an important maritime location during World War II when it was used by the United States Coast Guard, Gallagher said.
Senator Jeff Klein’s office played a role in getting the project moving again.
Community residents reached out to Klein in 2010 when they became concerned that the state funding set aside for the project, as well as money pledged by then Borough President Adolfo Carrion’s administration would be lost.
The Parks Department said it expects construction to take about three months.