Lynbrook parks plan is progressing

Nicole Alcindor for Long Island Herald

February 13, 2020

Originally published in Long Island Herald on February 13, 2020.

To help revitalize Lynbrook, village officials are starting smaller beautification projects at six parks this month and are preparing for a major overhaul of Greis Park in the near future.

“The renovations will bolster community aesthetics in the parks . . . while en-hancing the residential property values in our community,” Mayor Alan Beach said.

Three of the smaller “pocket” parks — Revere, Alphonse Catania and Juliette Low — are in the southeastern section of the village. Two — Molly Pitcher and Betsy Ross — are in the southwestern area. And the sixth is Five Corners Park, near Citi Bank, at Broadway and Merrick Road.

Lynbrook’s population is growing, Beach said, and park renovations are needed to meet the needs of a changing community. Weather permitting, work on the pocket parks should be finished by June 30.

Melville-based H2M architects + engineers has been tasked with the pocket park improvement projects. Work will include the installation of benches, paths, trees and plants. Additionally, a gazebo and a stonewall gateway will be installed at Molly Pitcher Park, and a sidewalk clock tower will be added at Five Corners Park.

According to Beach, improvements will funded by county and state grants, with no Lynbrook property-tax dollars. He noted that that there is a pending $300,000 grant application for a rubberized walking path at Greis Park.

County Legislator William Gaylor, the mayor said, secured a $75,000 grant to improve the southeastern parks, and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky secured a $65,000 grant for the southwestern parks.

The most extensive renovations will be at Greis Park. Residents played a central role in deciding on changes at the park through a survey created by Tom Diehl, principal and project manager of the Colorado-based GreenPlay LLC. Three thousand surveys were randomly mailed to village residents last winter, asking them to answer a series of questions about the renovations they would like to see at the park. They were also invited to take part in an online survey.

“The purpose of this study was to gather community feedback on the Village of Lynbrook’s Greis Park facilities, programs, amenities, future planning, communication and more,” Diehl said. “This survey research effort and subsequent analysis were designed to assist the Village of Lynbrook in developing a plan for Greis Park to reflect the community’s needs and desires.”

The surveys were completed in April. Two hundred twenty-five residents participated in the mail-in survey, and 981 took part in the online survey, for a total of 1,206 responses.

The renovations are intended to make better use of space at the parks, said Phil Healey, the Department of Public Works superintendent, who is overseeing the park upgrades. “Instead of open pieces of land with grass, we are focusing on improving these spaces for people to enjoy them,” he said. “Working on these renovations is an interesting task because it gives us a chance to be creative and add an aesthetic feature to the neighborhood.”   

Beach said that village officials were still analyzing the master plan for Greis Park generated by Greenplay, so the final projects have not been determined. He added that work on the park would start immediately once the village received a grant contract from the state, which could take over a year. One certainty, he said, was the installation of an artificial- turf field at Greis Park.

“We’re still analyzing the draft master plan prepared by Greenplay, and we’re0 looking to integrate their recommendations with the upcoming turf field installation project, which [is scheduled] to begin mid-March of this year,” Beach said. “Some changes for 2020 include new programs to address physical fitness and other multi-age recreation programs, redesigning of the ball fields, park beautification and parking.”

Mike Smollins contributed to this story.