While complaints over Roosevelt Island lost and
found wasted grow, few sources of sorrow exceed the devastation in Southpoint Park. A then and now comparison, just one year apart, says it all.
By David Stone
Roosevelt Island Lost
Over intense protests, blowing past worries about contaminated wastes, RIOC wiped out the last natural shorelines on Roosevelt Island. That attack, extended from an unchallenged need for repairing storm-battered areas, got underway in July 2020. With a vengeance.
The state agency countered protests, claiming, through contractor Langan, that the redesigned park would be more natural than what they were tearing out. In a virtual town hall, a Langan “expert” went so far as insisting that the birds that nested there and other animals would return.
But today, from the same perspective, it doesn’t look much like any of those whose habitats were destroyed will feel at home here.
The naturally growing trees in the distance are in FDR Four Freedoms State Park. The widely separated plantings represent RIOC’s idea of “more natural” than before.
Someday, there may be an accounting, but it’s not likely. Accountability for the state’s recklessness on Roosevelt Island faded under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s watch, and his successor has shown little improvement, just a change in rhetoric and wardrobe.
But we will document as much as we can before it’s all gone. We can never get Roosevelt Island lost back. We can remember, though, enhanced by images.
More from the Roosevelt Island Daily
- Smart Planning Means a Happy, Peaceful 4th of JulyThe 4th of July, 2022, on Roosevelt Island was as peaceful — pre-fireworks — as it was sunny and warm.
- Main Street, Roosevelt Island, What Most Visitors Never SeeAbout the long-neglected tree beds on Main Street, a resident wrote, “They are first and foremost eyesores, and then safety
- After a Lost Election, A Better Idea for Roosevelt Island“Neither Marc nor I won,” Joyce Short answered our inquiry. She meant the contest for two seats on the Democratic
- OMNY for the Tram: Frustrations Prompt a Petition DriveAn OMNY for the Roosevelt Island Tram petition states it simply: “We are asking the MTA and RIOC between them
- Interesting Fact #9 – The First Product Sold Online Was a Sting albumThe first product ever sold online was a Sting album. On August 11, 1994, the album was sold on Netscape’s
- Poisonous, Invasive Weeds Where RIOC Hacked Inkberry TreesAs we reported two years ago, RIOC’s hacking of the inkberry tree row shading the East Promenade was a mistake.