Idlewild Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Launch Of A New Canoe & Kayak Launch!

Photo by Daniel Avila

On Saturday, September 22, the new kayak and canoe launch opened at Idlewild Park Preserve. Part of the ever-expanding NYC Water Trail, its dedication was attended by Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Assembly Member Michele Titus, Eastern Queens Alliance Chairperson Barbara Brown, and kayakers from Sebago Canoe Club. This new launch provides access to the Idlewild Salt Marsh, which is the headwater for Jamaica Bay.

This new link in the NYC Water Trail was funded with $65,000 from Mayor Bloomberg and a $15,000 grant from J.M. Kaplan through the Eastern Queens Alliance. In addition to the installation of the ramp, the funding allowed for plantings and new grass in surrounding area. A second $15,000 grant from J.M. Kaplan will provide equipment for paddling workshops. From this fixed, wooden ramp, kayakers and canoers can explore Jamaica Bay, the freshwater and tidal wetlands and the meandering tributaries of Hook Creek.

Idlewild Park Preserve, located in the Rosedale section of Queens, is 160-acre nature preserve. Parks’ Natural Resource Group and the Department of Environmental Protection manage the marsh habitat for the protection of colonial wading birds, which breed locally on rookery islands. The marsh provides essential habitat egrets, ibis, and herons, which make up 25 percent of the northeast Atlantic population.

The waters along the Idlewild Park Preserve also act as a natural filtration system for Queens’ groundwater. The salt marsh prevents contaminants from entering Jamaica Bay by trapping pollutants, improves the water quality and helps to keep the ocean from flooding the southern half of Queens and parts of Brooklyn.

The NYC Water Trail is currently in the planning stages and will provide information on safe and legal access to the waters surrounding all five boroughs of New York City. The project will identify park launch sites, as well as connect those to non-park launch sites. The guide will also provide recreational, educational and scenic opportunities on each leg of the trail. The guide is scheduled to be online next spring with a print version shortly afterwards.


"Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one."

Malcolm Forbes

(1919 – 1990)

Directions to Idlewild Park

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