2010-07-29 / Other News

Residents Nose-To-Nose with DEP On Paerdegat N. Digging

By Charles Rogers

Members of the South Canarsie Civic Association (SCCA) last week held a hastily-called meeting with officials of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to try to answer a number of questions regarding the construction activity along Paerdegat Avenue North.

Mary Anne Sallustro, president of the SCCA, called the meeting when it appeared the DEP had been over-stepping the boundaries of the Paerdegat Restoration project by removing trees and plantings apparently haphazardly from the area bordering the street from Paerdegat 1 to Paerdegat 4. Meanwhile, the DEP, along with agents from the Parks and Recreation Department had issued a letter dated July 20 to Community Board 18 attesting to the work being done there.

The letter, signed by Kevin A. Forma, Parks Department Interagency Coordinator, states that the work being performed “involves the removal of several invasive species of trees and plantings, along with the removal of debris.”

Left: Looking very much like “angry townspeople” from an old black-and-white movie, members of South Canarsie Civic Association (SCCA) and officials of DEP get into arguments and out-and-out bickering during meeting regarding the way “restoration” of Paerdegat Avenue North is being handled. Right: Lower section of street, which covers blocks from Paerdegat 15 to Flatlands Avenue, shows Paerdegat Basin in the distance. Charles Rogers Left: Looking very much like “angry townspeople” from an old black-and-white movie, members of South Canarsie Civic Association (SCCA) and officials of DEP get into arguments and out-and-out bickering during meeting regarding the way “restoration” of Paerdegat Avenue North is being handled. Right: Lower section of street, which covers blocks from Paerdegat 15 to Flatlands Avenue, shows Paerdegat Basin in the distance. Charles Rogers Forma said the Parks Department has been working closely with DEP “to identify and save any native species of trees as was outlined in the design of the project.” After the removals are complete, he added, the park will be restored to a naturalized area using native tree and plant species.

“In addition to the new plantings,” he said, “a new fence will be added along the entire length of Paerdegat Avenue North.”

In an exclusive interview, Mrs. Sallustro told the Courier she and her members are still not satisfied and that the design does not meet the same standards bargained for in previous meetings.

She said she is not sure what her next step will be except to see what other members of her association will agree to.

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