Alley Pond Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NYC Parks Celebrates New Pathways, Improved Water Quality At Bayside’s Oakland Lake

Malcolm Pinckney

On Monday, November 23, 2015, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assembly Member Edward Braunstein, Council Member Elect Barry Grodenchik and District Manager of Community Board 11 Susan Seinfeld to celebrate a $1.6 million reconstruction of Oakland Lake to improve water quality and re-establish safe, passive recreation around the lake.

“Oakland Lake is a breath of fresh air in the middle of New York City,” said Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “And just in time to take in the fall foliage reflecting on its calm waters, visitors can now enjoy restored pathways and new native plantings. We’re thankful to Borough President Katz and the City Council for supporting one of Queens’ most pristine natural areas.”

“Oakland Lake has provided Queens residents and visitors with an oasis of tranquility in the midst of our densely populated Borough and City,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “This $1.6 million reconstruction project has enhanced Oakland Lake into an even more pleasant experience for our growing families.”

“Oakland Lake is a gem in our community,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “This beautiful and tranquil spot located in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Queens, is enjoyed by local residents throughout the year, and the upgraded pathways and new plantings will make that experience even better. As a resident of the area, I cannot wait to take advantage of these improvements, and I thank the Parks Department, Borough President and City Council for making them happen.”

“I recently visited Oakland Lake, and was impressed with the tremendous job that the Parks Department has done with the reconstruction,” said Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein. “It is critical that we continue to maintain all of our green spaces, and I would like to thank the Office of the Borough President and the New York City Council for providing the funding for this project.”

The project was funded with $1.1 million allocated by the Borough President and an additional $500,000 from the City Council. Work consisted of reconstructing portions of the pathway around the lake, and installing stone swales and drywells to collect water seeping from surrounding slopes and divert the water from the path. In addition, invasive phragmites were cut back and replaced by new native wetland plantings, the stream bed was re-established, drainage systems cleaned, and the slope was stabilized with boulders.

Oakland Lake is a 15,000-year-old spring-fed glacial kettle pond located in Queens’ Alley Pond Park. The Lake is home to fish, including bluegill carp, perch, and bass. The natural diversity of the area also attracts birds, such as cardinals, dark-eyed juncos, mallards and scaup ducks, in addition to hundreds of migratory birds.

In July 2011, NYC Parks and the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) completed a $2.5 million capital improvement project to restore the lake. The multi-phase project, part of DEP's expanded Bluebelt program in Queens, included restoration and repair of the park’s perimeters, lake shoreline, ravines and side slopes, the planting of thousands of new trees, new recreational opportunities, and the installation of storm sewers in the streets near the park to better control stormwater runoff and avoid erosion.

Directions to Alley Pond Park

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