After 14 years of planning and building, an old oil loading dock in Port Washington North has been turned into a waterfront park.
Village officials on Saturday cut the ribbon on the Bay Walk, bringing a nautical park with kayak launch station, new benches, bicycle racks, a garden, a phone-charging station and more to Port Washington.
Joined by officials from the villages of Flower Hill, Manorhaven, Sands Point and Baxter Estates, as well as North Hempstead town officials and members of the Port Washington Police Department, Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner said the park came alive because of residents’ ideas.
“The project was and the park is by the people and for the people,” he said.
The park, which was created in two phases, also has a flagpole dedicated to veterans, and on Saturday, an American flag and New York flag and a prisoner of war flag were raised.
Phase 1 of the Bay Walk Park included work on the walkway and pier, and Phase 2, which was completed in the winter, included the park’s amenities.
The Bay Walk stretches about 3/4 of a mile and the park is about 1.8 acres.
Phase 2 of the Bay Walk cost $1.5 million — $1 million of which was covered by the state Department of State and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation.
The village covered $250,000 of the cost with bond money, and the Town of North Hempstead covered the remaining $250,000, Weitzner said.
He said the park’s location is ideal because it’s near restaurants, delis and supermarkets.
The park will be under video surveillance that will feature live monitoring and recording for up to 30 days.
The entrance of the park features a stained glass design that is a map of the yacht clubs in Port Washington.
North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi Bosworth credited Weitzner for overseeing the project from its start.
“None of this would have happened without his stewardship,” Bosworth said. “I can only hope that our town dock is as beautiful as the Bay Walk in Port Washington North.”
“It went from famine to feast,” Weitzner had said. “I don’t only think this park will help Port Washington come together but you’ll see a lot of transit visitors coming to Port North, along with an economic boom for our stores.”
The park will also include a boat resting area on the waterfront, a new network expanding the Outdoor Nautical Art Museum, an information kiosk and the expansion of the Port North pier float.
“Many people said ‘you’ll never get a consensus, you’ll ever make it happen,’ but they were wrong,” Weitzner said.