The Meadowbrook Bioblitz was an amazing success, bringing over 380 amateur and professional naturalists together in September 2007 and resulting in documentation of 499 different species in the 7 1/2-mile Meadowbrook corridor. A Bioblitz is a volunteer-based event promoting collaboration between biologists and citizen-scientists, with the twin goals of increasing public awareness of science and learning more about local natural areas. This was the first Bioblitz in Nassau County, and it came about through the efforts of The Nassau County Unprotected Woodlands Taskforce and Nassau County Legislators Norma Gonsalves and David Denenberg and. As the various governmental entities work in concert to build a plan for the corridor’s future, including the possibility of a lengthy nature trail, the Bioblitz is designed to enhance the public understanding of the area’s ecology.

A typical Bioblitz focuses on a thorough inventory of the living organisms in a given area, including all the plants and wildlife, and limited to those species that can be found in 24 hours. The Meadowbrook Bioblitz ranged from Hempstead Plains near Nassau Community College on the northern end to Cow Meadow on the edge of the South Shore Estuary in the south. The corridor contains a mix of state, county, Town of Hempstead and Village of Freeport public lands, including the 73-acre county-owned Roosevelt Preserve, and consists of spring-fed streams, ponds and forest. In total, there are 252 acres of freshwater wetlands. The area also plays a significant role in the county’s storm-water management plan, supporting more than 100 storm-water outflow pipes that discharge directly into the Meadow Brook.

 

The volunteers’ efforts were divided among five locations: Cow Meadow Park and Preserve, Hempstead Plains, Norman J. Levy Park and Preserve, Roosevelt Preserve, and Rev. Arthur Mackey Sr. Park. More than half of the species found were either plants (188 species) or birds (76 species), with only a few species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish found. “Although the weather was fantastic, other than birds, not very many vertebrate species live in the Meadowbrook Corridor, and they are not easy to spot in a short survey” according to Hofstra University biologist Russell Burke. More species were found at The Hempstead Plains (289) than at any of the other sites, and most of these were plants. However, 43% of those plants were non-native, highlighting that park’s problem with invasive species. Cow Meadow Park had the second highest species count, largely due to the high number of bird species found at that South Shore preserve.

 

Four of the birds recorded at Cow Meadow Park are listed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as “Threatened”—the Northern Harrier, Pied-billed Grebe, and Common Tern, and the Osprey is a Species of “Special Concern”. A Cooper’s Hawk, another Species of Special Concern, was observed at Hempstead Plains. One federally endangered plant, Sandplain Gerardia, was also seen at Hempstead Plains.

 

~ CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE BIOBLITZ PICTURES ~

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Unprotected Woodlands Taskforce
Draft Management Guidelines for
The Meadowbrook Parkway Corridor

Purpose and Introduction

The purpose of the Unprotected Woodlands Management Guidelines (the “Management Guidelines”) for the Meadowbrook Parkway Corridor (“MPC”) is to protect the corridor’s natural, cultural and scenic resources while providing safe and compatible recreational opportunities without impinging on transportation needs.

The goal of the Management Guidelines is to identify the areas of the MPC that are not properly maintained and have been impacted by illegal and inappropriate use and to develop a means of managing and maintaining the property so that it may be accessed and used by the public in a safe and sustainable manner.

These Management Guidelines provide management direction for the corridor, including passive recreation such as trail opportunities and access. Environmental interpretation is another focus of the corridor.

The Management Guidelines provide a basis to consider compatible uses and activities for the corridor as well as new and alternative uses for historic structures within the corridor. The Management Guidelines include a broad public participation process, consideration of alternatives and a comprehensive evaluation of potential environmental impacts.

Identification of the Property

A. General Location and Description

The MPC, consisting of several areas owned by the County of Nassau, the State of New York, the Town of Hempstead and the Village of Freeport, will be considered as a single resource management area (the “management area”) within the Management Guidelines. The property that will be managed under these Management Guidelines stretches from Stewart Avenue in the north to Norman Levy Preserve in the south. Where appropriate, the corridor will be divided into smaller management areas with distinct features to be managed individually. The individual management areas will be determined by the comprehensive inventory and analysis of the natural, cultural and recreational resources within the management area.

B. History of the Property

Like many of the stream corridors in Nassau County, the Meadow Brook became the property of New York City and the Brooklyn Water Works in the late 1800s and was used to provide public water to the residents of New York City and the surrounding counties (Kings and Queens). However, by the 1960s, due to the decline in surface and ground water quality within the county as a result of continued development, Brooklyn Water Works abandoned its supply system throughout Nassau County in favor of reservoir systems in other counties further upstate.

Construction of the Meadowbrook State Parkway began as a means to provide additional access to Jones Beach State Park. In 1932, construction of the initial segment of the parkway began which included the four-mile segment stretching from Jones Beach north to current Exit M9, Merrick Road in Freeport as well as the Loop Parkway spur that made the connection to Point Lookout. By 1935, the parkway was extended by 2.8 miles to connect with the Southern State Parkway in North Merrick. In 1936, Robert Moses announced plans to make the connection with the Northern State Parkway in Carle Place although the depression and World War II inhibited construction of this segment. By 1956, however, the connection between the Southern State Parkway and the Northern State Parkway was complete.

Natural Resources

A. Physical

1. Geology

The surface geology found within the MPC, south of the Northern State Parkway, is a result of two glacial advancements during the Wisconsinan stage of the Pleistocene Epoch. The glacial Outwash Plain slopes gently and uniformly from north to south, beginning just north of the Northern State Parkway, and continuing south to the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the soil along the Meadowbrook Parkway, south of the Northern State Parkway, is well-sorted, water-transported sand and gravel sediment. The soils of the Outwash Plain originate from granite found at higher latitudes. Shallow meltwater streams flowed south from the terminal moraine. The MPC is a remnant of an ancient meltwater stream.

2. Soils

The soil at the head of the MPC, just south of the Northern State Parkway, is classified as “Urban Land – Mineola Complex.” This soil consists of urbanized, well-drained soils along shallow drainage ways. Permeability is moderately rapid at the surface to very rapid in the substratum. Seasonal wetness limits the soils suitability for dwellings.

The soil between Old Country Road and Hempstead Turnpike is classified as “Urban Land.” This unit consists of areas where at least 85 percent of the surface is covered by asphalt, concrete, or other impervious material. Rapid and uncontrolled runoff from impervious surfaces prevents adequate discharge of runoff.

The soil between Hempstead Turnpike and Front Street, on the east side of the MPC, is classified as “Udipsamments, nearly level.” These soils consist of manmade fills, most of which are grass covered. The soil has a rapid permeability due to its sand and gravel content. Low natural fertility limit landscaping - irrigation, topsoil and fertilizer are needed to maintain new shrubs and grasses.

The soil south of Front Street is classified as “Atsion loamy sand,” and “Berryland mucky loamy sand.” Atsion soils are very deep, nearly level and poorly drained. Atsion soils are found along the bottom of stream drainage ways. Permeability is rapid at the surface and the water table is often within one foot of the surface. Muck in the surface layer is sticky when wet. The soil is suitable for wildlife habitat. Berryland soils are very deep, nearly level and very poorly drained. Berryland soils are found in drainage ways and are wet most of the year. This soil is well suited to sustain wetland wildlife habitat.

Atsion soils are sticky when wet, which discourages foot and bike traffic. Compaction is difficult due to the nearly constant saturation of the sand substratum.

3. Terrain

The outwash plain tilts southward at a slope ranging from 0 to 3 percent. The terrain within the MPC is nearly level except for manmade cuts and fills. Surface runoff is slow to moderate within the corridor. Manmade contours direct runoff over impervious surfaces into designated storm water catch basins and drywell structures. Grassland and recreation parks within the corridor are generally flat and contain soils with relatively high permeability.

Erosion hazard is generally light due to the uniformity of the landscape. Topography does not need to be altered when developing land within the corridor. Some erosion occurs due to manipulated slopes. Overland runoff and erosion are minimal due to porous soils. Some sedimentation may occur within the stream bed.

Water

The water table within the corridor ranges from 2 to 4 feet just south of the Northern State Parkway, to the surface just south of the Southern State Parkway. The water table is at or near the surface beneath depressions and swales along the corridor south of Glen Curtis Boulevard. Surface waters along the MPC are found south of Front Street. These surface waters include: Mullener Pond, Smith Pond, and Freeport Reservoir. These freshwater ponds formed from depressions left by ancient glacial streambeds. Stream flow remediation, in the form of check dams, has been performed since 1993. The installation of check dams along East Meadow brook has increased stream flow. Select ponds have been deepened to intersect the lowered groundwater table.

B. Biological

1. Vegetation

2. Wildlife

a. Waterfowl

b. Amphibians

c. Birds

3. Fisheries

There are 11 known species of fish living in the waters of the MPC. These species include largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides), bluegill (Lepomis macochirus), pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus), black crappie (Pomoxis nigromaculatus), brown bullhead (Ameiurus nebulosus), carp (Cyprinus carpio), goldfish (Cyprinus ), golden shiners (Notemigonus crysleuscas), eastern mudminnow (Umbra pygmaea), and American eel (Anguilla rostrata). This is typical of south shore Nassau County stream and pond systems. There are historical New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) reports from the 1950s that document yellow perch (Perca flavecens) and chain pickerel (Esox niger) caught in Freeport Reservoir. However, more recent surveys have not captured either of those two species.
Several species of fish have been stocked into the East Meadow Brook system. Brown trout (Salmo trutta), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis, and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were stocked into Freeport Reservoir at various times from 1936 to 1982. East Meadow Brook was stocked with trout at various times from 1928 through 1970 and a single stocking in 1991. Smith Pond was stocked several times from 1935 to 1966 with a combination of yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead, bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish. Mullener Pond was stocked several times in the 1930s and 1950s with smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), yellow perch, largemouth bass and brook trout. After Mullener Pond was dredged by Nassau County Department of Public Works, bluegills, largemouth bass and pumpkinseed sunfish were stocked in 1993.

Fisheries resources have been impacted by chlordane. Fish contaminant studies have resulted in the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) issuing health advisories for Smith Pond and Freeport Reservoir. The health advisory for Smith Pond is to eat no American eel and to eat no more than one meal per month of carp and goldfish. The health advisory on Freeport Reservoir is to eat no more than one meal per month of carp.

4. Wetlands

There are approximately 252 acres of freshwater wetlands in the MPC; 164 acres are classified as Class 1 wetland, and 88 acres are classified as Class II wetland. As defined in Article 24 of the Environmental Conservation Law, Class I wetlands provide the most critical of the state's wetland benefits, and Class II wetlands provide important wetland benefits.

a. Red Maple Swamp

Red Maple Swamps dominate the wetland community of the MPC. This wetland type is often visually impressive because it contains an over story of mature hardwood trees from 30 to 80 feet in height. Although this wetland type varies around the state, on Long Island, this forested swamp has a dense canopy which is co-dominated by red maple (Acer rubrum) and black gum or tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica). It usually contains a thick shrub layer comprised of spicebush (Lindera benzoin), winterberry holly (Ilex verticillata), black chokeberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), swamp azalea (Rododendron viscosum), and sweet pepper bush (Clethra alnifolia). The dense canopy and under story create the ideal habitat for a herbaceous layer which is often dominated by a variety of ferns such as cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamonea), sensitive fern (Osmunda sensibilis), royal fern (Osmunda regalis), netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolata), and marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris). Other herbaceous species often include skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidis), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata), tussock sedge (Carex stricta), and other sedges of the genus Carex.

b. Impounded Ponds

There are three impounded ponds along the MPC, including Mullener Pond (5 acres), Smith Pond (6 acres), and the Freeport Reservoir (18 acres-split by the Meadowbrook Parkway). These ponds support a variety of fish species (see Fisheries, § III.B.3), amphibians and waterfowl. The vegetative community usually consists of a mix of grasses, sedges, rushes, shrubs and various submerged vegetation.

Cultural Resources

A. Visual and Aesthetic Resources

The MPC of open space created by the Meadowbrook State Parkway right-of-way encompasses and, in some way, preserved a natural environment that embodies the ecologic, hydrologic and geologic characteristics of the south shore of Long Island. The Meadow Brook is unique in that is has the benefit of being contained within a publicly held right-of-way. While public ownership has not totally secluded the brook from the impact of development, it still remains home to a variety of visually and aesthetically pleasing resources.

True to the intention of the Parkway, a hike down a trail within the right-of-way will provide users with a connection to a variety of recreational opportunities all while providing a linear enjoyment of nature.

B. Recreational Resources

The MPC does not currently contain any active formal recreational opportunities aside from those provided in Rev. Arthur Mackey Park set forth below. However, many informal passive recreational opportunities such as trails have been established along the corridor. The greatest number of trails is between Sunrise Highway and Babylon Turnpike in Merrick, from Washington Avenue to the Southern State Parkway in North Merrick, and from Washington Avenue to Babylon Turnpike in Roosevelt. All trails are unauthorized and most are unmarked, and are not maintained. Currently, they have high volumes of illegal motorized use by ATVs and motorbikes, and limited mountain bike and hiking activity. Surface conditions on these trails vary from good to severely widened and eroded. There are no marked pedestrian road crossings or entrances. Dumping and encroachments block some of the trail corridors, along with many downed trees.

Located within the corridor is Rev. Arthur Mackey Park (formerly Roosevelt Park), a 27 acre county park to the north of Washington Avenue. It has a 3-mile nature trail, fishing, two basketball, two handball, and two tennis courts. It also has a playground and two picnic areas.

C. Existing Infrastructure

The only structures within the corridor are the remains of the former water works facilities. These structures are in a state of disrepair and dilapidation. The structures are incapable of housing an alternative use. Once a determination of eligibility is made regarding their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, an effort should be made to demolish, or otherwise secure, these structures to reduce safety and liability concerns.

Man-Made Facilities

A. Water Supply/Drainage

The main water related feature of the MPC is the East Meadow Brook. Prior to development of the county, this north-south flowing stream was 7.5 miles long and had a topographic drainage area of over 31 square miles. As at other Long Island streams, this topographic drainage area is not closely related to present day stream flow because it is a relic of streams that drained melt-water from the glaciers at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch.

In the late 1800s, the Meadow Brook watershed, as was the case of many stream corridors within the County, became the property of New York City and the Brooklyn Water Works. The stream and its associated lakes and ponds, were converted to water supply reservoirs to provide public supply to the residents of New York City and the surrounding counties (Kings and Queens). The two water bodies at Sunrise Highway became known as the Freeport Reservoir and were part of the water supply system. The Brooklyn Water Works consisted of a variety of surface water impoundments, gatehouses, control structures, pump houses, infiltration galleries, well fields, transmission mains and conduits. At its peak function, the Brooklyn Water Works supplied as much as 60 million gallons of water per day to the residents of New York City from a number of areas within Nassau County, including the Meadow Brook.

By the early 1960s, ground and surface water quality within Nassau County was experiencing a significant decline due to the impacts of major development and the lack of sanitary sewers. With the development and completion of upstate reservoirs, Brooklyn Water Works abandoned the entire water supply system within Nassau County.

In 1986, New York City sold the entire Brooklyn Water Works System to Nassau County. Many of the facilities structures and appurtenances are still standing but are in relatively poor condition. Two gatehouse structures are located on the south edge of the Freeport Reservoir, both east and west of the Meadowbrook Parkway.

As development in Nassau County continued during the 1940s and 1950s, the construction of storm sewers that divert runoff from roads affected the flow characteristics and physical definition of the stream. Once a cool running stream in a natural setting, development caused the stream to undergo significant fluctuations in flow rates and volumes. The construction of the Southern State and the Meadowbrook Parkways severely altered this stream corridor to its current configuration. At present, over 100 storm water outfall pipes discharge directly into the brook. These pipes drain the surrounding roads from not only the town residential roads in the communities that border the Meadowbrook Parkway, but also, state and county roads within the watershed.

B. Transportation and Highways

The Draft Long Island Transportation Plan to Manage Congestion (LITP2000)

At the present time, the LITP2000 study team is preparing a draft plan. This plan includes numerous proposals endorsed by a majority of the LITP2000 Technical Advisory Committee, and an implementation strategy. This document acknowledges the LITP2000 and its current plans and is designed for full and/or partial implementation thereof.

Included within LITP2000, are the following priority-lane recommendations:

1. Proposed for construction during the period 2011 to 2015

Along the Meadowbrook State Parkway between the Northern State and the Southern State, a distance of about 5.8 miles. Along the Northern State Parkway between LIE Interchange 42 and the Meadowbrook, a distance of about 8 miles, and eastbound from LIE Interchange 38 to the Meadowbrook, a distance of about 2 miles.

2. Proposed for construction during the period 2016 to 2020

Along the Southern State Parkway between the Sagtikos Parkway and the Meadowbrook Parkway, a distance of about 18 miles.

*All priority lanes would be constructed within existing parkway rights-of-way and include attractive, aesthetically appropriate and pleasing bridges and landscaping, as well as water quality/drainage improvements and other environmental enhancements.

SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1The affect on the MPC is:

1. MSP: By 2015, priority lanes (one in each direction) will be constructed between NSP and SSP which will require approx. 16' in each direction. There will be no widening outside the right of way.

2. The widening will stay within the existing grass shoulder areas and not cut into the woods. In areas that now have center medians, the extra room needed will be taken from the median with no outside widening.

3. WSP: No widening proposed.

This will not affect the MPC. For further information about the LITP2000 study and all the proposals, please visit the web site at HYPERLINK "http://www.LITP2000.com" www.LITP2000.com.

 

Management and Policy

A. Past Management

Although ownership of the Meadowbrook Parkway right of way is under the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, maintenance operations were transferred to the New York State Department of Transportation in 1977. Current maintenance operations exclude the portions of the corridor that extend beyond the tree line. Therefore, the wooded areas are excluded. This has led to the proliferation of illegal dumping, encroachments into the corridor by neighboring uses and other illegal uses by trespassers.

Rev. Arthur Mackey Park (formerly Roosevelt Park)is located along the western edge of the MPC, between the Southern State Parkway to the north and Washington Street to the south. This 27 acres Nassau County Park provides a variety of active recreational opportunities such as, tennis, basketball and handball courts, Little league field and playground. The park also includes a picnic area and a three mile nature trail. The park is currently maintained by the county and has been since 19__. Prior to becoming a park, the property was_________.

Additionally, Roosevelt South Preserve is located along the western MPC boundary between Washington Avenue to the north and Babylon Turnpike to the south and encompasses ____ acres. The property is primarily undeveloped woodlands however, a Day Camp has operated on the southern portion of the property since 19__, through a lease with Nassau County. Over time, the day camp has gradually extended beyond the area they are permitted to operate and encroached onto the adjacent woodlands. Efforts are currently underway to remove the encroachment by the Day Camp from the county property and return the area to its natural condition.
The northern portion of the preserve is mostly undeveloped woodland and has received little maintenance over the years with the exception of local volunteer clean-ups. Dump sites and litter fill the area as well as other illegal activity. In addition, many of the MPC’s unauthorized trails are located within the Roosevelt South Preserve and are maintained either anonymously or by local volunteer groups.

B. Management Constraints

One of the most significant problems facing the proposed Management Guidelines and the resources of the MPC is the illegal and inappropriate use of the MPC such as ATV use, encroachment, illegal congregation, and dumping. Being that the MPC, for the most part, is only accessible by foot and that the property is encompassed by several law enforcement jurisdictions, controlling illegal activity will present a significant problem. Furthermore, since the boundary of the MPC is so lengthy and has yet to be completely defined, controlling the boundary and access points along the boundary should enable effective law enforcement. To prevent the continuation of illegal and inappropriate use,, effective policing and code enforcement must be employed within the corridor as well as suitable fencing and physical barriers which limit access to approved access points will assist in effective law enforcement. Furthermore, the MPC is home to a substantial Transient Homeless population who use the site as refuge during the night and to establish camps or temporary residences. In order to provide a safe and enjoyable recreational opportunity, these individuals must be reached out to and provided with an array of alternatives to living within the MPC.

Management Goals

The goal of the Management Guidelines is to identify the areas of the MPC that are not properly maintained and have been impacted by illegal and inappropriate use and to develop a means of managing and maintaining the property so that it may be accessed and used by the public in a safe and sustainable manner.

A. Land Management

Recommended park activities primarily involve existing, passive, and low-impact uses compatible with the site: hiking, fishing, bird watching, photography, nature study, and, in certain areas biking and cross-country skiing.

B. Public Use Management

Use of the corridor by the public will be managed through the use of informative signs, parking areas and physical barriers. Informative signs, installed near the access points to the corridor will inform the public of the types of uses allowed within the corridor. Access to the corridor by people other than those who live in the immediate area and who would otherwise be traveling by car will be limited by the availability of parking areas. Furthermore, physical barriers placed at all official access points will limit access by ATVs and other illegal motorized use. These barriers will be intended to provide access only to those people entering the corridor by foot. Law enforcement efforts will be coordinated between the various jurisdictions covering the MPC. Out reach programs should also be explored further to assist the transient homeless population who reside within the MPC.

C. Wildlife Management/ Fisheries Management

Fisheries within the corridor should continue to be managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources. Consideration should be made for future expansion of fishing opportunities such as stocking of ponds, stream habitat restoration and flow augmentation projects. No significant species exist within the corridor that is in need of special management action.

D. Water Management

Stream flow should be continually monitored to collect data to be used in future management practices. Consideration should be made regarding the augmentation of stream flow through the use of recycled water from local municipal treatment plants or other clean sources.

E. Wetlands

Proposed Land Use and Management Plan

A. Facilities

1. Parking and Access (including handicapped)

Possible or existing parking lots for access to the MPC are listed below:

East Side (south to north)

- Norman J. Levy Park, Town of Hempstead, Merrick
- Merrick Road Park, Town of Hempstead, Merrick
- Long Island Railroad Parking Lot, Merrick Station
- Brookside School, North Merrick
- Town of Hempstead/East Meadow Little League ball fields, East Meadow
- Eisenhower Park, East Meadow

West Side (south to north)

Freeport H.S. Ball Fields
Long Island Railroad Parking Lot, Freeport Station
Freeport Water Works, Lakeview Avenue
United Cerebral Palsy, Roosevelt
Arthur Mackey Park, Roosevelt
Roosevelt School District, Town of Hempstead Road Maintenance
Facility
A. Holly Patterson Center, Uniondale
Nassau Community College, Garden City

Many of these potential parking facilities will require approval for use from the respective cutting owning the facility.

Handicapped access is limited, due to the unpaved and sandy trails. The number of trail users is self-limiting due to the availability and size of parking.

2. Trails

Trails will provide a variety of experiences to take advantage of the recreational resources within the corridor such as scenic views, botanical interests, fish and wildlife, interesting ecological or geological features and historic structures.

Two types of trails should exist within the corridor. Primary trails will provide the trail experience and should be comprised of the existing trail network. Secondary trails will provide access to and between specific recreational resources. The need for and locations of secondary trails should be identified and implemented in conjunction with the development of specific recreational resources.

Existing trails that are safe for walking and possibly for biking and cross-country skiing need to identified and marked. Restoration should be done in severely eroded areas to control further damage to the MPC and the trails. Improperly sited trails should be rerouted and/or blocked off. Small wooden bridges need to be built in a number of locations.

3. Roads/Crossings (bridge, railroad)

Where any established and approved trail crosses a road, a sign shall be placed along the impacted roadway to inform drivers that hikers may be present. At major road crossings, consideration should be made regarding the construction of overpasses and painting crosswalks to minimize potential pedestrian motorist interaction. In some locations, existing underpasses can be utilized.

4. Boundary Lines

Identify and post signage delineating where the public property boundaries lie. Create a Map showing these boundaries. Encourage all private property owners to post signage delineating private property boundaries. In highly accessible areas such as along roadways, fences and physical barriers should be installed to ensure that access is limited to only the approved access points. Areas with existing fences should be maintained and replaced if needed.

5. Utilities

All existing utility lines and rights-of-way will be preserved as is. Utility rights-of-way should be crossed as quickly as possible and should be screened where possible. Any new utilities to be installed in or near the corridor should be reviewed for their impact to the corridor.

6. Drainage

The most important issue in trail construction is drainage. The amount of water on trails must be managed to prevent damage resulting from erosion and to keep the trails useable. Current drainage structures and patterns should be preserved and maintained. No additional drainage structures should be installed other than those necessary for erosion control.

7. Storm Water Management
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has implemented Phase II of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program that requires all municipalities that discharge storm water runoff to the surface waters of the United States to be covered under a permit to do so. To comply with this requirement, each municipality had to apply for permit coverage by March 10, 2003. In addition, each municipality had to develop and implement a storm water management program within 5 years.

Nassau County obtained permit coverage under this program and has developed its initial Storm Water Management Program (SWMP). The County has sought to promote an inter-municipal approach to storm water management in an effort to share knowledge and resources which ultimately will improve the quality of our surface water and ground water reservoir. The program focuses on six major components, called Minimum Control Measures (MCM’s) that correspond with the requirements of the Phase II regulations. Nassau County’s SWMP consists of practices to promote public education, public involvement and participation, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site runoff control, post construction storm water management and pollution prevention/good housekeeping for municipal operations.

The MPC will benefit from the full implementation of the SWMP through the performance of each of the MCM’s listed above.

8. Encroachment

Current encroachments by neighboring uses into the MPC should be identified and remedied. The property should be restored and cleaned.

9. Refuse Removal

Existing dump sites should be identified and removed. Storm water management plans must be implemented with particular attention to the MPC.

10. Interpretive Signage/Visitor Center

Areas within the corridor that are considered environmentally sensitive, unique or in need of protection should be identified. Information regarding these areas should then be compiled for the purposes of relating the importance or special needs of the areas to the public. Information can be related through the placement of signs at designated areas along the trails or by incorporating the information into a visitor center to be centrally located within the MPC. A visitor center should be a small informal structure constructed from natural materials. The design should be large enough to shelter the information that is to be related to the public.

B. Natural Resources

1. Clean Ups

Cleanups, targeting most impacted, should begin. Establish regular maintenance schedule including litter removal and monitoring for illegal dumping to be augmented by cleanups.

2. Vegetation Management

A list of plant species within the MPC should be established.

3. Identification

Efforts should be made to eliminate from the areas of the corridor that are highly accessible by the public, those species of plant that are invasive or inappropriate for use along a trail corridor. Plants and shrubs used for landscaping must tolerate wetness.

4. Scenic Views

Views known to be significant to the MPC should be preserved. Historic structures within the MPC that are deemed eligible for historic preservation should be stabilized and preserved. Limiting new plantings in identified areas as well as careful pruning in others will preserve off site and on site views.

5. Trails

To preserve soil and reduce the potential for continued erosion, the existing trails within the corridor will be used. Sensitive areas should be avoided and trails in those areas should be eliminated. New trails should only be cut if existing original trails become too damaged to maintain or to enhance the public enjoyment and utilization of fish, wildlife and visual resources.

6. Ponds

To ensure proper functioning of the Meadow Brook ecosystem, the water levels within the ponds should be monitored for significant changes.

7. Restoration Project

Those areas in need of restoration should be identified. Erosion control and soil restoration should be addressed. Trail that are currently severely eroded should be abandoned and re-routed in favor of more sustainable trail construction. Due to the sandy soils within the corridor, compaction and water removal is necessary when developing trails or structural footings. Stream flow augmentation along with shoreline restoration should also be considered to raise the water level of the stream. Rehabilitation of historic structures eligible for inclusion in the national register should be considered.

8. Fire Management

Current fire management practices will be continued. Local Volunteer Fire Departments will provide fire suppression to ensure public safety and health.

9. Rare, Threatened Species and Communities

Rare and threatened species should be identified, inventoried and continually monitored in accordance with the New York State Department of Conservation

10. Fishing

Fishing along the MPC shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Current management practices should be continued.

C. Historic and Archeological Sites

Historical structures and archeological sites should be inventoried and sent to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation for a determination of eligibility for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Those resources eligible for inclusion in the national register should be preserved to ensure their integrity. For public safety and health reasons, consideration should be made regarding removal of those resources deemed ineligible for inclusion in the national register.

D. Public Use Management

1. Signs

Informative signs, installed near the access points to the corridor will inform the public of the types of uses allowed within the corridor.

2. Hiking and Bicycling

Hiking will be allowed throughout the corridor. Hiking will only be allowed on designated trails and hiking off the trails will be prohibited. Bicycling will only be allowed in designated areas within the corridor and bicycling off of the designated trails will be prohibited. The public will be prevented from accessing a hiking area with a bicycle by the installation of physical barriers that will allow just enough space for a hiker to pass but not bicycles or ATVs.

3. Fishing

Fishing along the MPC shall be subject to the rules and regulations of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Current management practices should be continued.

4. Law Enforcement

Illegal activities need to be brought under control, which include off-road motorized use, drug and alcohol partying, campfires, homeless encampments, dumping, encroachments, and some limited gang activity. A county task force has begun identifying, surveying, and contacting adjacent landowners in the Roosevelt Preserve regarding the encroachment and dumping problems. The MPC will be under the jurisdictions of several law enforcement agencies including the New York State Police, New York State DEC Police, New York State Parks Police and Nassau County Police. A coordinated effort will be made to ensure adequate law enforcement coverage. A system will be developed to allow communication between the various jurisdictions to ensure the most appropriate response.

5. Maintenance/Maintenance Vehicles

Identify user groups that can help as volunteers, such as the Long Island. Greenbelt Trail Conference, bike clubs, civic associations, etc. Consider starting a “Friends” group, and an adopt-a-park program. Enter into cooperative agreements with such groups. The use of Maintenance vehicles within the corridor should be avoided whenever possible. Use of ATVs during maintenance operations should be considered over the use of full size trucks and only when the transportation of large or heavy equipment or supplies is involved. Access by such maintenance vehicles will be provided through gates located in discrete locations and should only be unlocked to allow vehicles to pass. These gates will also provide access to emergency service vehicles such as fire trucks.
Specific maintenance responsibilities will be delegated at the implementation of an inter-municipal management agreement.

E. Management Action

At the implementation of an inter-municipal management plan, responsibility for specific management actions will be delegated.

1. Land Management

a. Inventory historic structures. Determine which have historical significance and determine if they are eligible for inclusion on the National Register or State Register of Historic Places.

b. Inventory vegetation within the corridor. Create lists of native and invasive vegetation. Identify locations of invasive vegetation that need attention/remediation. Identify the location of endangered or threatened vegetation species.

c. Inventory illegal dump sites and encroachments and systematically clean up and remove them.

d. Inventory existing trail system and identify and mark sections to be used as primary and secondary use.

e. Make necessary repairs to trails and reclaim trails that will not be used.

f. Contact local volunteer groups to establish relationship for coordinating maintenance, repair and clean up efforts.

g. Identify specific recreational resources to be developed or enhanced.

2. Public Use Management

a. Inventory existing access points. Identify locations to be used as authorized access points and close/barricade remaining un-authorized access points.

b. Post appropriate signage at all entrances and access areas. Post all property boundaries.

c. Installed fences and barriers to control unauthorized access.

d. Construct information kiosks in high traffic areas.

e. Provide security through the implementation of regular police patrols.

3. Water Quality

a. Stream flow and water quality needs to be tested for baseline conditions.

b. A system for continued monitoring needs to be established.

4. Wildlife Management

a. Inventory wildlife within the corridor and identify the habitats of threatened or endangered species.

F. Administration

1. SEQRA

2. Staff

3. Operating Schedule

4. Plan Revisions

5. Budget and Schedule

Involved Agencies
Nassau County Legislature
Nassau County Department of Public Works
Nassau Count Planning Department
Nassau County Parks Department
Nassau County Open Space Parks Advisory Committee
Nassau County Police Department
Town of Hempstead Parks Department
New York State Department of Transportation
New York State Department of Environmental Protection
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
New York State Police Troop L

 


 

Click here to view the Meadowbrook Parkway Corridor - Brief (2).pdf

 

© 2012 Meadowbrook Bioblitz