DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ANNOUNCES NEW DAY-USE AREAS FOR WATERSHED RECREATION
Special areas for public access encourage recreation, picnicking, appreciation of local history
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced the creation of two new day-use areas in the watershed, providing local residents and visitors with additional locations for enjoying the outdoors and local history. Both day-use areas are located near Pepacton Reservoir in Delaware County. They include the site of a former bridge in Dunraven and Pepacton Cemetery in Andes.
The Dunraven Day-Use Area is a 2-acre site on the East Branch Delaware River, at the head of Pepacton Reservoir. The park comprises two small areas of land on either side of the river, including the former abutments of a bridge that was located there during construction of the reservoir. One side of the park is accessible from Route 28, and the other side is located on BWS Road 10. This unique area is good for fishing in spring when the river is high. It is also good for picnicking, reading a book, eagle watching or enjoying scenic views of the valley year-round.
The Pepacton Cemetery Day-Use Area includes 54 acres on a hillside that overlooks the reservoir. Last year, DEP and local experts finished a full-scale restoration of the cemetery, which is the final resting place for more than 400 deceased who were removed from local burial grounds and reinterred to allow for the construction of Pepacton and Cannonsville reservoirs. The city-owned cemetery was rededicated in their memory last November. The cemetery is a significant site for local history. Those buried at the site include the founding families of towns in Delaware County, along with more than 25 veterans of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and the Spanish-American War. The cemetery comprises approximately one-quarter of the day-use area, while the remainder includes a field with excellent views of the reservoir. That field is now open to the public for picnicking, walking and other low-impact activities.
With the addition of these two sites in Delaware County, DEP has now designated six day-use areas on water supply lands. Day-use areas are parklike settings that can be used by the public for a variety of low-impact activities without the need for a DEP Access Permit. DEP’s other day-use areas include public walkways at Ashokan, Cross River and Kensico reservoirs, and the 53-acre Devasego Park in Greene County, which includes a boat launch and picnic areas. More information about these areas can be found by visiting DEP’s website at www.nyc.gov/dep/recreation.
DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of high-quality water each day to more than 9.6 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $166 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.7 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with $19.1 billion in investments planned over the next decade that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.