Valley Stream village finishes large-scale cleanup at Hendrickson Park


Valley Stream employees recently finished an invasive cleanup at the north side of Arthur J. Hendrickson Park Lake, to dredge up excess sand that collects as water drains from the storm water system.

The work began on Sept. 23 and lasted through Oct. 3, with periodic maintenance expected to continue. Through aid from the 2011 Environmental Bond Act, the village installed a storm water drainage system on the north side of the park, including a bandalong litter trap — a mechanism that keeps debris from flowing into the lake.

“The village has been looking at the storm water run-off and the creek system and lake system for decades,” Mayor Ed Fare said. “Finally, we received some grant monies where they did the storm water management from Long Island Sound all the way to Jamaica Bay, which includes all of Valley Stream.”

Following a three-year holdup with contractors in bankruptcy court, a judge recently granted the village permission to get to work on draining the sand. The village now intends to use a dredge to keep the sand out of the lake.

“We’re going to keep an eye on it and see how long it takes to build up,” said Brian Howley, the village’s electrical and buildings supervisor. “Then with the dredge, which moves a lot of sand, it will suck the sand in the water and we’ll trap the sand in one of the dump trucks and we should be able to maintain it that way.”

Improvements have already been made at Mill Pond and Cahill Memorial Park, and the Hendrickson Lake cleanup has remained a top priority, Fare said.

“We took a couple of truckloads of sand out of there and now we’re readjusting the bandalong,” Fare said. “We’re hoping now that with routine maintenance and upkeep, we’ll be able to keep the water flowing, we’ll be able to keep it clear and clean. That was the last little headache we had up there at that north end, and now we’re hoping with it being cleaned out and adjusted, we’ll be taken care of. And that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

There is also a matting of cinderblocks at the north end of the lake, near Hendrickson Avenue, underneath bandalong area to help combat the overabundance of sand.

“We’ll remove the sand from upstream,” said Tom McAleer, superintendent of buildings for the village. “The blocks were designed to capture the sand and be maintained on a regular basis, and that’s what we’ll do moving forward.”