NYC Parks has successfully completed a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) reclassification of the Ridgewood Reservoir, lowering the dam hazard rating from Class C “High Hazard” to Class A “Low Hazard.” This new designation eliminates the need to create any breaches in the dam, preserving it as a natural treasure for the local community.

In the years since being taken offline as a water supply source, the reservoir has transitioned into a naturalized area that is unique within NYC and serves as an important ecological and public recreation resource. Many volunteers worked long and hard to make sure that this day finally came. Please note the following announcement:

Notice is hereby given that a Public Hearing will be held by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) to accept comments on the proposed designation of the Ridgewood Reservoir located in Highland Park, Queens, as a Critical Environmental Area. The Public Hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at St Pancras School, 68-20 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, NY 11385.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation proposes to designate the reservoir as a Critical Environmental Area (CEA). Once an area has been designated as a CEA, the potential impacts on the characteristics of the CEA become relevant areas of concern for specific consideration during State Environmental Quality Review Act review of future projects in or substantially contiguous to the area.

Copies of the CEA Justification Report and Environmental Assessment Statement can be obtained by contacting the lead agency at the following address:

Owen Wells, Director of Environmental Review
New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
The Arsenal, Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue, Room 401
New York, New York 10065
Telephone: 212-360-3492
Fax: 212-360-3453

Oral and written comments on the proposed CEA designation can be submitted at the Public Hearing. Written comments will also be accepted by NYC Parks at the above address, fax number, or email address until 5:00 PM on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

Please RSVP to Debby Kuha if you wish to attend the 6/21 hearing at or by phone at (718) 235-4100 with your full name, organization (if applicable) and e-mail address or phone number.