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Grand Reopening Of Stannard’s Brook Park On May 19

On Saturday, May 19, Port Washington will be celebrating and commemorating the coming out of a local “debutante,” Stannard’s Brook Park. Stannard’s Brook Park has a long, and in some cases sordid, history. After years of disregard and neglect the park fell into a feral state. However, with the loving dedication of the Port Washington Parks Conservancy (PWPC), who procured numerous grants and gracious donations, the park has been transformed into the “Belle” of Port Washington.

The Stannard’s Brook Park was once part of a larger tract of land owned by John Mitchell. Around 1760, he built a large homestead known as “Mitchell Hall.” He later sold the land to Captain Stannard in 1887 and “Mitchell Hall” was renamed “The Anchorage.” Then in 1907, following Captain Stannard’s passing, it was rented to Mrs. R. A. Haskell who ran it as a boarding house for 20 years. After that, it lay fallow for two decades, and after falling into disrepair, it was torn down to make way for a housing development in 1956.

The original Stannard’s Brook Park was born in 1944, after being acquired by the county for drainage purposes. It later became part of the New York State Significant Fish and Wildlife Habitat in Manhasset Bay, as well as an important bird sanctuary.

The $840,000 renovation of Stannard’s Brook Park is finally finished. The unruly teenager of yesterday has now blossomed and transformed into a magnificent young adult. And this was no small task for the Port Washington Parks Conservancy (PWPC). Culverts were rebuilt and replaced, bridges were razed and reconstructed, and a new retaining wall has been created at the head of the park. Beautiful sidewalks have been installed, and the park is now replete with new benches, walkways and trellises. Non-indigenous and invasive plants have been removed and replaced by indigenous species. This is only a partial list of the major changes that have transformed Stannards Brook Park. And what park would be complete without the addition of educational features?

If you would like to get the whole picture, swing by the corner of Carlton and Charles streets on Saturday, May 19 at 11 a.m. to catch the official unveiling and to participate in the celebration. A picture is worth a thousand words, but to see this sight for yourself is priceless.

Looking for more information? Drop by the Port Washington Public Library reference department to have a look at the prospectus, delve into the local history, and see just how historically rich this community really is.