Flyer Unclear

 Flyer Unclear

Dear Editor:

A recent flyer about plans for the old Neponsit Home area was recently posted by Council Member Joann Ariola on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Most or all (!) of her constituents are most likely pleased that the former eyesore has been cleared and that a new park will be built there. While many may find the park to be a welcome improvement to the former Neponsit Nursing Home location, there should be a large-scale visioning, scoping, and input process that not only includes, but goes beyond, the boundaries of Belle Harbor and Neponsit. Considerations may include, but not be limited to, the history of this space and the importance it holds for many, protections against storm surge for the Beach 149th Street beach block homes, ecology and beauty– just to name a few.

The flyer perpetuates the idea that this new Rockaway park is ONLY for Neponsit and Belle Harbor residents. Some residents are already under the mistaken impression that the beaches are private, rather than public. The flyer clearly states: “The Old Neponsit Home area will be getting a BRAND NEW park for the Belle Harbor and Neponsit communities.”

Subsequent comments from Ariola on Facebook indicate “that’s where the park is located. That’s not saying it is exclusively for residents, it is a public park.” These comments are clarifying, but the flyer with the misleading information was already posted.

We are fortunate to live in a beautiful neighborhood with beautiful beaches and parks. We need to remember they are not “ours,” but are public places for all to enjoy.

Jane Canner

(Editor’s Note: The design for the park is not finalized and will be discussed at future public meetings with the Parks Department).

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