Status change aims to keep the beautiful Ridgewood Reservoir a natural open space

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The city Parks Department recently took an important step toward preserving one of Ridgewood’s most beautiful places.

The Ridgewood Reservoir‘s status as a dam was reclassified by the New York City Parks Department after the agency completed a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) application, effectively lowering the site’s hazard rating from Class C “High Hazard” to Class A “Low Hazard.”

This new classification removes the need to create any breaches in the dam, allowing the Ridgewood Reservoir to remain as a natural treasure for all those who visit. Since the reservoir was taken off‐line as a water supply source, it has become a uniquely naturalized area in New York City, serving as an important ecological resource as well as a public recreation space.

“The Ridgewood Reservoir is home to a number of native flora and fauna, making it one of Queens’ most diverse natural areas,” said Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski. “The reclassification of the dam is an important step forward to ensure the preservation of this treasured green space.”

The NYC Parks Department said it is fully committed to preserving the Ridgewood Reservoir as a natural open space for the community.

“The Ridgewood Reservoir has always been such a unique and beautiful part of our community, and now, thanks to the dam reclassification, it always will be,” said Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley. “Thank you to the Parks Department for the new designation and ensuring our green space is preserved in this bustling city.”

The Ridgewood Reservoir — located in the northeastern portion of Highland Park — was built back in 1859, and was originally used to supply Brooklyn with water up until 1959, as new reservoirs in the Catskills provided water. It was completely decommissioned in the 1980s.

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