By Jon Cronin
The Ridgewood Reservoir is coming close to being designated as a wetland by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which prevents the delicate green space from being filled in or used for parkland or housing, local advocates said.
Steven Fiedler, the parks and recreation committee chairman for Community Board 5, said that the fight has been long and arduous.
ed]. This is proof that a small group of dedicated people can make a big differen“Some guys have been fighting for 25 years,” said Fiedler, who has been involved in the initiative to get the site designated as a wetland for 13 years. “There are about 30 or 40 people [involved.] This is proof that a small group of dedicated people can make a big difference. We never wavered.”
Fiedler said that Gary Giordano, the district manager for CB 5, has been a staunch advocate since he took his current position 15 years ago. Matt Malina, the founder and director of H20 who educates local students on the history of New York’s waterways, is another activist long engaged in the fight.
Fiedler said that Malina’s ongoing educational trips around the three Ridgewood Reservoir basins in Highland Park have brought attention to advocacy for the designation for the past three years. He noted that Malina has also given insight into the importance of the flora and fauna at the site.
“As of right now, I would say it was a 90 percent done,” Fiedler said of the objective to designate the reservoir as a wetland.
Read the full story in tomorrow’s print edition of the Queens Tribune.