NYC PARKS COMPLETES RIDGEWOOD RESERVIOR DAM HAZARD RECLASSIFICATION, PRESERVING THE DAM AS NATURAL OPEN SPACEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 20, 2017
NYC Parks has successfully completed a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reclassification of the Ridgewood Reservoir, lowering the dam hazard rating from Class C “High Hazard” to Class A "Low Hazard." This new designation eliminates the need to create any breaches in the dam, preserving it as a natural treasure for the local community.
“The Ridgewood Reservoir is home to a number of native flora and fauna, making it one of Queens’ most diverse natural areas,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “The reclassification of the dam is an important step forward to ensure the preservation of this treasured green space.”
“The Ridgewood Reservoir has always been such a unique and beautiful part of our community, and now, thanks to the dam reclassification, it always will be,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley. “Thank you to the Parks Department for the new designation and ensuring our greenspace is preserved in this bustling city.”
NYC Parks is fully committed to preserving the dam as natural open space. In the years since being taken off?line as a water supply source, the reservoir has transitioned into a naturalized area that is unique within NYC and serves as an important ecological and public recreation resource.
The Ridgewood Reservoir is a former water supply reservoir located within Highland Park, straddling the Brooklyn-Queens border. The reservoir was constructed in 1858 and served as part of the water supply system for Brooklyn until 1959. The reservoir is divided into three basins separated by embankments and has been substantially drained for many years.
The Ridgewood Reservoir is located within the northeastern portion of Highland Park, and is a component of a larger green corridor formed by the park and several adjoining cemeteries. The site sits atop a ridge formed by the Wisconsin ice sheet’s terminal moraine, the Harbor Hill Moraine. Rising more than 100 feet above the surrounding outwash plain, the reservoir affords dramatic views over its surroundings to nearby cemeteries, East New York, Woodhaven, the Rockaways, Jamaica Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
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