When the City bought the
at the corner of Nostrand Parkway and West Neck Road at the Silver Beach site and cleared it, some neighbors and others questioned why the vegetation on the site had been removed. What many didn’t know was that the site had been restored to what it was in the 1930s. Much of what neighbors thought were viable plants were actually invasive plants that were killing the acacia trees. blacks and other plantations.
The members of the Community Preservation Fund Advisory Committee never intended to simply clean up the site and leave it empty. Members are currently reviewing proposals from four companies that responded to Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to develop concepts for the site.
Tim Purtell, CPF advisory board member and chair of the green options committee, told city council during its Sept. 13 business session that efforts would continue to clamp down on invasive species in favor of native plants.
Over time, new plants and trees will create an attractive site that will attract birds, insects, box turtles and various species of mammals to the site.
The project won’t come cheap, with costs for the planning stage estimated at $13,000 in the low to mid-$20,000 range. The four advisory board proposals are similar, Purtell said.
None of the four respondents has yet been identified, and the amount of each proposal has not been made public.
This will occur after the CPF Advisory Board and City Council have had an opportunity to review the proposals and make known the choice and the reason for its selection. Multiple proposals sometimes result in a lowest bidder being awarded a contract. But other factors, including the availability, reliability, and specifics of a plan are also factors in the selection process.
The cost of the work would include analysis of the property to show the location of native and alien or invasive vegetation.
This would include identifying the types of plantings that would suit the topography; attract desired birds, insects, turtles and mammals to the site; and site mapping as a guide for the creation of a concept plan for the property that would be finalized by City Council in conjunction with the CPF Advisory Board.
Once the time is right for new plantings, fundraising could be undertaken to help pay for that part of the project, supervisor Gerry Siller suggested.
At the corner of West Neck Road heading west, a meadow is needed rather than tall trees that could obstruct drivers’ vision, Mr Purtell said.
He showed images of grasses and flowers that could be used in this area and said the design work to be involved in the overall project can become a model for some other preserved sites.
Planting would be done in sections over a few years, Purtell said.