Riverhead’s Grangebel Park now open to the public

12/17/2010 1:27 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Christmas wreaths adorn the light poles of the now open Grangebel Park.

The fence that has surrounded downtown Riverhead’s recently renovated Grangebel Park has been removed.

The park’s long-awaited reopening is final.

The scenic park, which town engineer Ken Testa recently referred to as the “crown jewel” of Riverhead, includes walking and biking trails, a performance stage and a fish passage for the annual migration of alewives. It was closed about a year for construction.

“I’m just so happy it’s finished. It’s beautiful,” said Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter.”I think honestly my favorite part is the fish passage.”

Riverhead’s community development director, Christine Kempner, said a grand opening ceremony will likely be scheduled for after New Year’s Day.

The site improvements cost about $1.37 million and the fish passage construction cost about $750,000, town official said.

The park, the entrance of which runs along Peconic Avenue, which connects Riverhead to Southampton Town, will be maintained by Riverhead’s buildings and grounds department and the town’s recreation department will oversee concerts and performances on the stage.

Parking will be available east of Peconic Avenue along the north side of the Peconic River, Mr. Testa said. The town is planning to construct a crosswalk on Peconic Avenue ­— as mandated by Suffolk County because it is a county road — to make access to Grangebel Park safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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40 Comment

  • This is great news and I just hope it will be safe and that one can walk along or sit quietly and read or enjoy the beauty of it without fear of being approached by anyone with no good intentions.

  • Great. The restoration of the park will add another positive increment to the town’s riverfront development, still creeping along at a snail’s pace, which one hopes will finally convert the town to the pleasant country village that it should be.

  • Perhaps you are right, however, the only way the pond gets any tidal flow is to dredge it each year. If we allow the mouth to close, the health of the pond would get worse. Your point is well taken, though. Regards and Happy Holidays, Scott Russell

  • Perhaps dredging it along it’s natural curving path would be best. After all, mother nature brings it back to this design time and time again. I don’t think the straight dredge design followed last year should ever be paid for again. That was almost a joke except that we paid for it.
    Andrew Anselmo, Peconic.