In late June, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously voted to pass a land transfer that Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip (District 10) has fought for in the Great Neck community. This transfer will grant the Great Neck Park District access to a vacant land parcel that is currently the property of Nassau County, located along Wood Road in Great Neck.
“I am very pleased to announce that legislation I sponsored and worked on with the Great Neck Park District unanimously passed the Legislature this week,” Legislator Pilip said.
Nassau County had no use for the land parcel aside from stormwater overflow, but the Great Neck Park District plans to maintain and improve the current stormwater retention system.
“When I get a request from our Park District, any of our villages, whoever in our area, I take it seriously and dig deep to make sure it happens,” said Legislator Pilip. “The Park District told me what they had planned for the piece of land, they want to clean it up and make it beautiful, and it is going to be a nice connection for the Parkwood Facilities.”
Great Neck Park District Superintendent Jason Marra worked with his co-workers at the Park District and Legislator Pilip to raise awareness for the acquisition of the land.
“We’re super excited to get the opportunity to acquire some land. It’s been over 20 years since the Great Neck Park District was able to acquire additional parkland,” said Superintendent Marra.
The Great Neck Park District has five major parks, eight neighborhood parks and three passive parks throughout the Great Neck area. Some parks have amenities such as athletic fields, a dog park and a marina in Steppingstone Park. The parks host community events, such as musical events, cultural festivals and the weekly Great Neck Farmers Market. The Great Neck Park District maintains and manages all its parks to enhance the community, enrich residents’ lives and preserve the environment.
The Great Neck Park District controls an existing parcel of land adjacent to the transferred parcel, the Parkwood Facility. The acquisition of this land parcel will unify the Parkwood Facility Complex and allow for a more cohesive passive park that residents throughout the county will be encouraged to use.
The Parkwood Facility is a sports complex that is home to the Parkwood Family Aquatic Center, the Parkwood Tennis Center, the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink and a recreational center.
“The Wood Road property from the county that we’re acquiring sits directly between our Parkwood sports complex, between our ice rinks and the tennis, which is indoor and outdoor,” said Superintendent Marra. “Currently, we have an easement, which is basically a one-lane path for people to walk to the other side. So we’re looking forward to developing the new property.”
With this procurement of land, the Great Neck Park District plans to refine the parcel by improving the stormwater retention basin, enhancing the appearance of the property through landscaping projects, and continuing to protect the areas of this parcel that have been designated as regular wetlands.
“We intend to maintain and also improve the stormwater basin. We hope to incorporate some educational functions in that area with stormwater, for it’s an environmental resource,” said Superintendent Marra. “And then we will continue with an ongoing needs assessment to see what we can do with the property. We have no definite plan yet until we do the feasibility study, but we are planning to do some sort of walkways, whether it’s a nature trail or pathways. We want to connect the properties and make them a whole.”
Acquiring the Wood Road parcel of land will help the Park Department develop the Parkwood Complex by giving the district access across both ends.
“The Board of Commissioners of the Great Neck Park District and I would like to thank Nassau County Officials and staff for the effort, time and attention expended to enable the Park District to acquire the County’s Wood Road parcel for park use, most of which has for decades been an inaccessible stormwater retention basin,” said Superintendent Marra. “A special thank you to Legislator Mazi Melesa Pilip for her leadership, cooperation and shared vision to create new parkland not only for the residents of Great Neck but for all Nassau County residents.”
Legislator Pilip was instrumental in negotiating the transfer of land and collaborating with the various departments and officials working on this land transfer. Legislator Pilip thanked the Nassau County Legislature and Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman for their support in approving the plan. “The shared vision to create and protect parkland not only for the residents of Great Neck, but all residents of Nassau County is the result of the effort. My thanks go to the Park District, all the Commissioners and the Village of Great Neck for their partnership, assistance and support.”