Administration to develop plan for public use and preservation
Last week, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran joined with Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello and members of the Nassau County Legislature to sign a local law, which will require public access to all active parkland and open space within the county where it is deemed appropriate. Curran included funding to support the local law in her 2019 capital budget.
“I support access to Nassau County’s beautiful parks and open space,” said Curran. “We need to ensure that our residents’ rights to safely enjoy these precious county resources are protected. This amended legislation affords our public access to parkland and open spaces while recognizing that our departments must be also be able to manage these county assets in a fiscally and environmentally responsible way.”
Nassau County has 6,000 acres of active parkland that are open to the public. Some areas will remain protected for environmental and public safety considerations, which will include critical fresh and tidal wetlands that contain ecologically sensitive vegetation. A bill originally introduced by the Majority was amended after consulting with Curran’s administration and officials from the county’s Department of Public Works. Through the amended local law, the county will conduct a 60-day assessment of open space to determine necessary accessibility and signage. Additional information will be offered online, which residents can utilize when planning to visit a park or preserve.
“Open space in Nassau County is limited and precious and it is critically important to embrace every opportunity to preserve these natural assets,” said Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams. “By ensuring Nassau County residents are able to fully enjoy our open space acquisitions while protecting environmentally sensitive land, this legislation strikes the right balance.”
At the signing, Curran said that she was proud to have worked with her partners in the county legislature on the new local law, who took into account the concerns expressed by her administration and members of the public regarding the need for safeguards.
As its first step, Curran’s administration will move quickly to evaluate all active parkland and open space that is owned or operated by the county to determine where openness and accessibility to the public may be inappropriate due to the nature and characteristics of the property and parking requirements.
“That is responsible and bipartisan government,” said Curran.
—Submitted by the office of Nassau County Executive Laura Curran