As reported in a previous email bulletin, the City is in the very early stages of creating a master plan for Ward Acres, New Rochelle’s largest park. Because of misunderstandings about the Council’s planning goals, a rumor is spreading among some park users that the City is contemplating intensive development at the site or a fundamental change in the park’s character. This rumor is entirely baseless.
The focus of our planning effort will be preservation and enhancement of Ward Acres as an inviting place for residents to enjoy and appreciate nature. In general terms, we envision trail improvements, habitat restoration, educational and environmental programming, rehabilitation and adaptive re-use of the old barn, improved drainage or catwalks where needed, appropriate treatment for historical sites, better signage, and so forth. A couple of trails in the park will also be linked to the larger inter-municipal Colonial Greenway – a twelve mile trail loop stretching from Mamaroneck to Eastchester. The planning process will include extensive public input and will certainly accommodate the reasonable requirements of the park’s current users, including pet owners. We have not yet selected a park planning consultant, but I expect that someone will be on board within a couple of months, with the planning process to commence in earnest then.
Please feel free to share this information with friends or neighbors who may be concerned. For additional information, residents may also contact Commissioner of Parks and Recreation Bill Zimmermann at 914-654-2092.