Imagine being able to stand atop the Washington Square Arch, or to take a walk through the cavernous Old Croton Aqueduct. These are historic landmarks that are part of New York City’s park system that most New Yorkers are sadly unable to experience.
At a time when City Parks usage is soaring, and New Yorkers’ appetite for discovery is at an all time high, we have resources and monuments that are untapped and underused. From North Brother Island off the coast of the Bronx, to the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Manhattan, to the Prison Ship Martyrs' Monument in Fort Greene Park, there are countless historical education opportunities that would all New Yorkers to reconnect with pieces of our great City’s history.
Many of these places offer different perspectives both literally and figuratively on New York’s history. Whether it is underground or in the sky, these places have the ability to give New Yorkers--and tourists-- the unparalleled sense of wonder and adventure that comes from discovering something that uniquely new and old.
For all of these reasons and more, I am excited to announce that on Thursday, December 1st I will be chairing a Parks Committee oversight hearing to explore the possibility of opening these places up for public use. Please join me and testify on the importance of returning these valuable underused resources back to the public.