In 1858, The Ridgewood Reservoir was built on the Brooklyn-Queens border to hold the fresh water supply for the once independent City of Brooklyn. Ridgewood Reservoir for the 21st Century traces the 160-year transformation of the site from the construction of its three water basins to its invaluable role today as a 50 acre open space in Highland Park, a green oasis allowing for close encounters with nature.
For the last 4 years, a major focus of NYC H2O has been leading a coalition of community groups to protect and preserve the Ridgewood Reservoir. Since 2016, we advanced the cause or health of Ridgewood in the following ways:
NYC H2O Virtual Hub to continue educating our students remotely (Spring 2020)
Advocated successfully to have the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and NYC Parks & Recreation agree to reclassify the walls of the Reservoir as a non-hazardous dam, thereby avoiding demolition. This had been an impasse for a decade.
Advocated successfully for the DEC to designate the Reservoir as a Critical Environmental Area—one of only two in NYC (the other is Jamaica Bay)
Successfully lobbied the Parks Department to cancel its plan to put turf fields in Basin 3