State Senator Owen H. Johnson (4th Senate District, Babylon), Chairman of the Finance Committee, was recently on hand to commend and congratulate the Friends of the Edgewood Preserve for adopting a one-half mile stretch of Long Island Avenue (north side, along the Edgewood Preserve perimeter). The group adopted the spot in an attempt to reduce litter and help to beautify the stretch of road.
In addition to clearing the area of litter, cutting back weeds and readying the area for the planting of hundreds of daffodil bulbs, the group has other ambitious plans for their adopted spot. The group hopes to work with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to install a new, secure fence on the north side, and to work with the Town of Babylon to install down lighting and a safe place for pedestrians and cyclists to walk or ride to the LIRR station.
"Unfortunately, this stretch of land on the south side of the Edgewood Preserve has become a spot where we’ve seen chronic illegal dumping," said Senator Owen H. Johnson. "As the creator of the Preserve, this has distressed me greatly. That’s why I am so pleased that the Friends of the Edgewood Preserve has taken the initiative to beautify this stretch of road by adopting this spot. I am pleased to support their efforts in this important endeavor which will undoubtedly enhance the Edgewood Preserve and the surrounding areas for years to come."
Senator Owen H. Johnson authored legislation in 1987 that created the Edgewood State Preserve. The legislation provided the impetus to get the demolition and cleanup of the 14-story tall Edgewood Hospital building and other structures underway so that ultimately, the open space could be protected and the preserve could be created. Today, the Edgewood State Preserve totals more than 800 protected acres and is the last vestige of the Oak Brush Plain. The property provides residents with a unique area in which to enjoy activities such as hiking, biking and bird watching. It is also located in a special groundwater protection area that overlays a sole source aquifer that provides drinking water for numerous Long Islanders
Pictured standing in the back row, from left to right, are: New York State Department of Transportation Region 1 Director Peter Scully, Friends of the Edgewood Preserve Secretary Patricia Burkhart, Friends of the Edgewood Preserve Treasurer Sid Cherry, Town of Babylon Councilwoman Ellen McVeety, New York State Senator Owen H. Johnson, Town of Babylon Councilwomen Jackie Gordon and Carol Quirk, Town of Babylon Environmental Commissioner Vickie Russell, Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners Thomas Donnelly, and Third Assistant Chief of the Deer Park Fire Department Thomas Richardson. Pictured kneeling in the front row, from left to right, are: Town of Babylon Beautification Coordinator Florence Findley, Vice President of the Friends of the Edgewood Preserve Paul Tomko, and President of the Friends of the Edgewood Preserve Denis Byrne.