Silver Lake Park

Silver Lake Park Is March's Park Of The Month

Monday, March 17, 2008
No. 20

Silver Lake Park, on Staten Island’s North Shore, contains 209 acres of open space where residents can enjoy recreational activities, walking trails and a place to be one with nature. Silver Lake, a body of water formed at the end of the ice age, was drained and today acts as a working reservoir. The history of the lake dates back to the 19th Century, where it was home to a casino and saloon, and it hosted the National Skating Amateur Championship races in 1897.

“Silver Lake Park combines a rich history, modern amenities, and beautiful open water views,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Visitors can take advantage of the many trails, fun playgrounds and open lawns that this park has to offer families or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”

At the end of the 19th Century, the population of Staten Island was increasing each year. Residents wanted land to be placed aside for a park. Staten Islanders found that the commute to visit Manhattan’s parks was time-consuming and expensive. But it wasn’t until Staten Island writer and resident John de Morgan decided to step up for the residents that Staten Islanders got a park in their borough. In February 1900, he appealed to the State Assembly Committee on Cities to set aside funds to establish the park. Four years later, the construction on the park began. In 1913, the lake was drained and converted to a working reservoir by the Board of Water Supply, a function it still serves today.

Although much of the park is famous for the transformation of the reservoir, other sites within the park are also notable. In 1928, a golf course was constructed. Through the years, the park has been granted funds for adding a new tennis court, softball field and a children’s playground. In 1988, Staten Island Borough President Ralph J. Lamberti provided the park with $1.4 million for a new administration building along with a new children’s play area. In 1997, the park received an additional $700,000 from Borough President Guy Molinari to repave the walkways and to add new plants, benches, fences, guiderails and handball courts.

In its more than 150-year history, this park has transformed from a barren landscape to a park lined with colorful beds of flowers and laughing children, with room for all to enjoy its amenities.

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Directions to Silver Lake Park

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