Parkland is what state Sen. John Flanagan would like to see for the former grounds of the Kings Park Psychiatric Center.
“Part of our legacy should be how we can maintain and enhance it. I would love to see a boardwalk from Sunken Meadow to the park,” said Flanagan.
Flanagan secured $29 million in 2006 for the environmental clean up of the area. Currently 522 acres of the grounds are home to Nissequogue River State Park.
“I wish things had gone more quickly,” he said, referring to the 15-year time span since the center closed to the recently started demolition of buildings on the property.
Flanagan said he would like to see an Environmental Bond Act created, where residents can vote on spending money on parkland.
“There year there was a considerable spike in people who came to state parks,” said Flanagan and cited Wentworth State park in New Hampshire as a favorite spot for his family to visit.
“I think if you set this up and let people know what is going to happen, I believe people will buy in. Even with financial difficulties, the great equalizing factor is ultimately you decide,” he said.
The demolition, thus far, has gone off without problems. Flanagan said his office has not received any complaints about the work and is in agreement with parks officials who want to assess the first phase of the demolition before starting the second phase.
“In the category of patience, whatever is above platinum is what Kings Park deserves,” he said.