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Memorial Park Fishing Pier Gets NYS Grant

Work began last week on a new fishing pier in Memorial Park, courtesy of a grant from New York’s Department of State. Village of Nyack officials say construction should be completed by the end of September.

Memorial Park Fishing Pier Ground Breaking on Aug 7, 2014. From L to R: NYS Senator David Carlucci, NYS Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, NYS Secretary of State Cesar Perales, Darcy , Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart

Memorial Park Fishing Pier Ground Breaking, 8/7/2014. (L to R:) NYS Senator David Carlucci, NYS Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, NYS Secretary of State Cesar Perales, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Assistant to the Chair of The Rockland County Legislature Darcy Casteleiro, Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart

Nyack received a $150,000 Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization grant to construct the pier and a handicapped ramp to improve public access to the Hudson River. A separate grant of $50,000 from the Tappan Zee Bridge project will help finance a construction viewing platform for the new bridge.

NYS Secretary of State Cesar Perales attended a ground breaking ceremony for the fishing pier earlier last month. “Our work here exemplifies the collaboration of state and local municipalities to enhance waterfront communities,” said Perales. In addition to the benefits it offers to residents of the Nyack river villages, Perales said that it meets two other goals. “We are making lots of investments like this. We think that when we help to beautify a community, it isn’t just for the people who live here but it also gives us an opportunity to increase tourism.” Perales says that amenities like the fishing pier in Memorial Park also make communities more attractive to companies that are looking to bring new businesses to this area.

Site preparation for the construction project started on Aug 27. Over the next week survey crews will be on-site to layout the new piling locations.  Pile driving equipment will arrive at Memorial Park during the week of September 8.

Construction of the fishing pier will involve driving 36 12-inch diameter piles into the existing  gravel base and installing wooden decking.  Rock boulders that currently surround the pier will be replaced with railings.

Memorial Park Fishing Pier Plans

Design for Memorial Park Fishing Pier

The project will also include building a west-of-the-hudson viewing platform for Tappan Zee Bridge construction. “The idea is to have high tech binoculars installed, have spotters guides and informational signs put up so people can see,” says Brian Conybeare, Special Advisor to the Governor for the New NY Bridge Project. A similar viewing platform will be built in Tarrytown at Pierson Park.

Work on a new playground at Memorial Park will also begin after Labor Day. The new playground equipment has been delivered to Nyack’s DPW garage and site
preparation will start this week with installation as the next step.

Nyack Mayor Jen Laird-White’s Introductory Remarks at the Fishing Pier Ground Breaking Ceremony

I want to welcome you all here today at an incredibly exciting time for our beautiful park and our tiny piece of this epic river, so rich with history.

At this spot, hundreds of years ago, our Native American brothers and sisters came to eat oysters harvested from this abundant river. When you garden in parts of Nyack, you can still find layers of oyster shells in the soil.

Henry Hudson, cruised past this shore, looking for the pacific and finding…Albany.

Native Americans called it the river that flows both ways,  the Dutch called it the Rio Montaigne and the Spanish, the Rio di San Antonio…but, in the end, Henry Hudson won the permanent naming rights.

The Nyack Brook that flows into the Hudson just south of the park, was an important navigation landmark on the Underground Railroad.

A grove of trees planted on the top of the hill above this park were planted to memorialize those that perished in World War I and gave this park its name.

Pete Seeger played here, Frank Sinatra moored his boat here and my kids grew up here.  It is a place beloved by all who visit it and it is used all the time by many.

This portion of park that we stand upon today was built from remnants of the last Tappan Zee Bridge.Today, we will break ground for our new fishing pier that extends our public space even further.

I am overjoyed to be standing here today, armed with a shovel, ready to join all of you in a project that will benefit future generations that have come to this park to behold the wonder of nature and the marvel at a bridge that is a monument to human ingenuity.

This project is beautifully designed and engineered in a way for people who live here and who visit us to get move out over that glorious river. We are gaining a place to fish, to picnic, to watch the bridge grow or the sun to rise.

This is the first step in the rejuvenation of Memorial Park.  An enormous step on a journey that we could not have embarked on without the help of many people, including Beth Franz, from Quenell Rothschild, who designed the pier, Rick Gilbert from Blueshore Engineering who engineered the pier.  Sylvia Welch, our grant writer extraordinaire.  And Nyack Village Administrator Jim Politi our who sees all of our projects to fruition.

I want to add the biggest thanks to our honored guest today, Secretary of State Ceasar Perales. We are deeply honored to have you here.  Secretary Perales is as dedicated a man as you will find in government, having dedicated four decades to public service.

That is an amazing amount of time to be committed to helping all of our lives be better.  He has run the gamut of doing good works from serving as Assistant Director at the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare, to Commissioner of New York State Department of Social Services under Governor Cuomo, The First…. to Deputy Mayor of New York City under Mayor David Dinkins.  And now, today, he joins us as Secretary of State of, as Governor Cuomo The Second likes to call it, THE GREAT STATE OF NEW YORK.

Our park is undergoing of magnificent transformation.  We have big plans: new basketball courts have been completed, and a new skatepark, gazebo, gardens and playground are well on their way.

It has always been a gem, but we are turning it into a crown jewel.  And much of this transformation is due to the support of the State of New York.  Without their help through grants like this, none of this would be happening.  The residents of Nyack and all who use this park thank you Secretary Perales, from the bottom of our hearts.

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