The Village of New Paltz Department of Public Works [DPW] spent the bulk of October bringing a long-buried stream beneath the Village of New Paltz Peace Park to light, moving through the park, under the Village Hall parking lot, to reemerge in the northern part of Hasbrouck Avenue.
The project, which has been in the works since Village Mayor Jason West proposed the unearthing of the stream instead of the more expensive and non-permanent process of replacing broken pipes, Deputy Mayor Rebecca Rotzler said.
The process known as “daylight streaming” is an infrastructure project recommended by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to reduce storm water run-off and to increase groundwater infiltration by raising “previously-culverted [or] piped streams,” according to the New York State Storm Water Management Design Manual.
The DEC cites the process as a “Green Infrastructure Technique Acceptable for Runoff Reduction,” as the process also assists “to restore natural habitats, better attenuate runoff by increasing the storage size, promoting infiltration and help reduce pollutant loads.”
Though she was not present at the time of West’s initial proposal, Rotzler said the project is something she supports as it would benefit the area aesthetically, financially and environmentally.
“It’s in line with our community’s goals of creating a beautiful and green area,” Rotzler said.
Rotzler said options for the future include similar aesthetics to the traditional look of the Peace Park, including a hand-laid sculpture installation from the village’s sister city, Osa, in Japan.
“I’d hope to see plants, potentially edible ones that bring another dimension of sustainability,” Rotzler said. “It will only expand the beautiful park we already have.”
At a February Village Board meeting, a presentation was given to discuss the different aesthetic options for the park, ultimately raising concerns regarding the effect they might have on traffic.
Later landscaping and traffic improvements were also incorporated, including an additional 93-foot-wide crosswalk between Plattekill and Hasbrouck avenues to alleviate potential safety issues at the heavily trafficked intersection.