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Udall’s Cove Restoration Project

The Udalls Cove Preservation Committee (UCPC) announced the start of a significant restoration project in the Virginia Point portion of Udalls Cove Park and Preserve. The work will be carried in an area located immediately north of the northern terminus of Little Neck Parkway.

The rectangular shaped parcel to be restored is now heavily overgrown with invasive species of vegetation – primarily mugwort and porcelainberry. The restoration project will start with removal of this weedy growth, followed by grubbing out the roots to minimize regrowth, and then replanting with a variety of appropriate, indigenous species of trees and shrubs. The new plantings will be surrounded with wood chip mulch to further suppress growth of weeds.

A wood chip-lined path through the restoration site will provide visitors with access to the open parkland just to the north, with its lovely views of a large, healthy salt marsh and the open water of Udalls Cove beyond.

The restoration will feature 14 different species of native plants including redstem dogwood, shadblow, American holly, bayberry, red cedar, iris and black-eyed susan.

This restoration project – like all of UCPC’s work in the Park – will be carried out in full cooperation with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYCDPR), the owner of the land in question. The work is being conducted by a professional landscape contractor hired by UCPC. It will be carried out in conformance with the terms of a wetlands permit issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), and construction and forestry permits issued by NYCDPR.

The $17,000 project is being funded through contributions collected by the organization.

UCPC started its parkland restoration work in the early 1990’s, planting many hundreds of trees in a section of the Park that borders Northern Boulevard. From 2003 to 2006 UCPC removed about 1.5 million pounds of concrete rubble from an area of the Udalls Cove Ravine near the Douglaston Firehouse, where it had been dumped decades earlier (before the site was designated to become a park). In 2008 UCPC completed a major erosion control and restoration project in that section of the Ravine. UCPC has also installed an attractive wooden guardrail along Sandhill Road (known locally as “the Back Road”) near Aurora Pond.

UCPC now turns its attention to the Virginia Point section of the park. This area was the site of two commercial boatyards until the early 1960’s. Today, little more than some old wooden bulkheads and a derelict boat and engine are left of those marinas; most of the area is now wooded. In June of this year UCPC sponsored an Eagle Scout project involving installation of over a hundred feet of split rail fence at one park entry point. Another Eagle Scout project scheduled for late November will establish the first several hundred feet of what will eventually be a network of trails winding through this interesting area.

During the past six years, UCPC has invested over $165,000 in restoration work around the Udalls Cove Park and Preserve, of which $100,000 came through grants secured by State Senator Frank Padavan and City Councilman Tony Avella.