Many Lynbrook residents will soon receive a survey asking them what improvements they would like to see at Greis Park, as part of the village’s effort to develop a master plan to overhaul the facility.
Officials also plan to upgrade several small “pocket parks” in the village using grant funds.
“Twelve years ago, when I was elected along with former Mayor Brian Curran, we started a program to rehabilitate our parks,” Mayor Alan Beach said at the Jan. 14 village board meeting. “The majority of the work has been done mostly through grants, and now we’re moving forward with the other parks in our village.”
The Bloomfield, Colo.-based GreenPlay LLC has been tasked with generating the master plan for Greis Park, which will include the resident surveys and several meetings before a final plan is produced. In September, village officials unanimously selected GreenPlay from a pool of companies. Creating the master plan should take eight months.
Village officials allocated $60,000 in the 2018-19 budget to develop the plan. GreenPlay has completed hundreds of similar projects in four states. In New York, the company has designed projects in the upstate towns of Amherst and Bethlehem, the City of Saratoga Springs and Erie County.
Tom Diehl, a GreenPlay project manager, said he had met with several residents at an open house at the Lynbrook Public Library in December to gather information for the survey, which, he said, village officials recently approved. RRC Associates, a research and marketing firm, will create the survey and distribute it in the coming weeks, Diehl said.
The seven-acre Greis Park, on Wilbur Street, has athletic fields, trails, picnic areas and playgrounds, but officials and residents have for some time said that the property needs to be revamped. In addition to housing the village pool, many of the village’s recreation programs and youth leagues, the park is the site of several annual events, including Patriots’ Day, on Memorial Day weekend. Residents have said they would like to see a dog run, walking and biking trails, shade structures over the playgrounds, a community garden, new bleachers, a fitness center, a multi-purpose room for dance and fitness and a new recreation center at the park.
About 3,500 randomly selected homes will receive the first version of the survey, Diehl said, and then a second survey will be sent to every home in the village. Data collected from both surveys will be compared and analyzed. Homeowners will receive postcards by mail instructing them how to go online and complete the four-page survey. They will also be able to do it by phone, or they will be able to fill it out at Village Hall. Completing the survey will take roughly 10 minutes.
“We make sure that we don’t waste people’s time,” Diehl said. “We ask residents to tell us about the strengths of the Recreation Department, the areas they’d like to see improved.”
The survey, which will include questions seeking demographic data, will focus on parts of the community that could be better served by the parks, as well as community issues and values. After the data is analyzed, Diehl said, GreenPlay representatives will meet with residents to gather more feedback before starting to draft plans. About two months later, they will provide village officials with a draft plan and then present the final one soon after that. GreenPlay has partnered with Weston & Sampson Architecture to create the designs.
The village board also unanimously voted to approve plans submitted by the Melville-based H2M architects + engineers to improve six village pocket parks. At the Jan. 14 meeting, Kenneth Keltai, an H2M manager, presented before and after renderings for each park. The parks slated for improvement include:
• Alfonso Catania Park, named for a Department of Public Works employee from the 1960s, on Robertson Road and Melrose Avenue.
• Juliet Gordon Low Park, named for a founder of the Girl Scouts, on Huntington Avenue and Windsor Place.
• Paul Revere Park, a triangle on Rocklyn Avenue, Shipherd Place and Huntington Avenue.
• Betsy Ross Park, near Peninsula Boulevard and Rockaway Avenue.
• Molly Pitcher Park, across from Betsy Ross Park on Peninsula Boulevard.
• Five Corners Park, near Citi Bank, at Broadway and Merrick Road.
Improvements will include benches, paths, trees and plants. In addition, a gazebo and a stonewall gateway will be installed at Molly Pitcher Park, and a sidewalk clock tower will be added to Five Corners Park. The projects are to be funded mostly with grants secured by Nassau County Legislator William Gaylor and State Sen. Todd Kaminsky. The village also has a $230,000 surplus that could be used to finance the projects.
“We have the grant money already,” Beach said, “and we anticipate getting more grants.”