Shoreline Improvements and Resiliency Upgrades Will Protect Treasured Public Greenway Against Impacts of Future Storms; Promote Waterfront Recreation on Long Island
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the Path to the Park Project, a $3.8 million undertaking to transform a beloved stretch of public greenway along the northwestern shoreline of Hook Creek in South Valley Stream. The project, carried out by the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery in partnership with the Town of Hempstead, enhances the community's resiliency against future storm events, promotes waterfront access and provides additional opportunities for recreation.
"In New York, we are making historic investments in our communities to ensure they are prepared to withstand the new threats of extreme weather and climate change," Governor Cuomo said. "These significant improvements will help protect this valuable stretch of green space from anything Mother Nature throws its way, while expanding recreational opportunities and access to the waterfront for residents."
"Long Island was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, and we have been committed to working to rebuild homes and businesses. We are making significant investments to improve storm resiliency and strengthen infrastructure on Long Island and across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who made today's announcement. "This project in South Valley Stream will further help to prevent future flooding and promote waterfront recreation on Long Island. This investment is part of our overall goal to increase energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gases, and combat climate change for a cleaner and safer environment for New Yorkers."
Developed through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, the Path to the Park Project included bulkhead reconstruction, stormwater quality improvements and aesthetic upgrades to boost quality of life for residents while bolstering flood, hurricane, and stormwater control with bioswales overflow structures along the shoreline. The project also incorporated green infrastructure measures including a new living shoreline and vegetative buffer, enhanced wetlands, removal of a former bridge abutment and construction of a new berm for supplemental surge protection.
The project also constructed a new pedestrian pathway with educational signage, scenic overlook areas, wild flower plantings and a pollinator garden. The pathway extends southwest from Mill Road, before veering west through a residential neighborhood connecting to Forest Road. Paired with the creation of a kayak launch near Columbine Lane, these features amplify recreational opportunities on Long Island.
Executive Director of the NY Rising Community Reconstruction and Infrastructure Programs for GOSR, Alana Agosto said, "The Path to the Park Project is a true embodiment of what the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program is all about - projects developed by New Yorkers, for New Yorkers that are now being brought to fruition across the state. Through the NY Rising Community Reconstruction Program, Governor Cuomo has provided municipalities like the Town of Hempstead with the resources and framework for producing meaningful change. We are so proud to see this cross-functional project come to life for the residents of South Valley Stream and Long Island as a whole."
Senator Todd Kaminsky said, "The increased severity and frequency of future storms on Long Island means that we must make a substantial investment in the resiliency of South Valley Stream. This community has suffered from flooding for too long, and this project will help strengthen the shoreline by mitigating future storm damage and reducing flooding. I applaud Governor Cuomo for his leadership in this important area."
Assemblymember Michaelle C. Solages said, "Severe weather is becoming the norm as the climate crisis worsens. Although the recovery process is not over, the Path to the Park Project is a step forward in addressing the after-effects of Super-storm Sandy. Using grassroots community outreach, New York State is working to improve the quality of life of homeowners in South Valley Stream. This multi-million dollar sustainable infrastructure investment will enhance our region's storm resiliency while creating a recreational space for our community. I would like to extend my appreciation to all of the residents that provided input on the project as well as to the state and local municipalities. We are building back, stronger than ever."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, "Thanks to robust support from Governor Cuomo, we are building a more environmentally-sustainable and resilient Nassau County. The Path to Park Project is a great example of how we can improve quality of life for our residents by building green infrastructure that protects and beautifies for generations to come."
Town of Hempstead Supervisor Laura Gillen said, "Rebuilding our infrastructure to protect the residents of Valley Stream from the next storm has been a top priority since entering office. The new improvements will protect thousands of lives and millions of dollars' worth of property, while providing residents with a tranquil waterfront setting to relax and experience nature. The Town is grateful to Governor Cuomo and his office for providing the Town with the needed resources for this critical project."
More than 650 New Yorkers served on 66 NY Rising Community Reconstruction Planning Committees across the State and proposed hundreds of projects inspired by the unique needs and assets of their regions. Now in the implementation stage, GOSR works with a variety of municipal, county and non-profit partner to bring locally-devised proposals to fruition.
Funding for projects such as the Path to the Park Project come on top of the $1 billion already disbursed directly to New York homeowners through the NY Rising Housing Recovery Program.
Established in June 2013, GOSR coordinates statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Through its NY Rising Housing Recovery, Small Business, Community Reconstruction, Infrastructure and Rebuild by Design programs, GOSR invests $4.5 billion in federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery funding to better prepare New York for extreme weather events. More information about GOSR and its programs is available online at http://stormrecovery.ny.gov/.