Silver Lake: a reservoir of water and a fund of fresh air

There is a cool, fresh feel to the sunny air today, as midAugust brings the first inkling of summer’s end. And with many people, like myself, just back from vacations, it does seem like the seasons are beginning to change. So this is a great time to look at our natural environment. There’s no better place to start than Staten island’s first park, Silver Lake.

The serene stillness of Silver lake

The serene stillness of Silver lake. Although Silver Lake Park is the most accessible large park on the island, it is not visited by large numbers of people.

NYC Water Supply maintenance building mid lake

NYC Water Supply maintenance building mid lake

Many people know Silver Lake as a reservoir of drinking water and as the end of the line for New York City’s Catskill water supply system. That happened in the early years of the 20th Century, as the island’s population grew. Nowadays, the story is a bit more complicated, as the city decided during the 1960s to bury the drinking water reservoir below the lake in covered storage tanks. The work was completed in 1971 and thus the present lake is not part of the island’s water supply, but merely what covers it.

One of the slightly overgrown park paths

One of the slightly overgrown park paths

                                                      Silver Lake Park was the first city park to be created on Staten Island, but it was quickly overshadowed by Clove Lakes Park just to its south, and today a walk in the park is a quiet, solitary experience.  Cleanliness is maintained in a satisfactory way, but the vegetation is in desperate need of care.

Beyond these trees is the awe inspiring panorama of the lake, but from these benches it is hardly visible

Beyond these trees is the awe inspiring panorama of the lake, but you would hardly know that from these benches

The trees around the lake have grown so thick that panoramic views have been blocked off almost entirely by lush greenery. A thorough re-landscaping of the edges of the lake could really enhance the appearance of the park. However, even without this kind of intervention, the park is a spectacular sight and is remarkably calm and quiet in the midst of the busy North Shore. It is surely a joy for the people who visit it from all over the island and from the surrounding communities, many of them filled with large, beautiful homes.

Along Haven Esplanade

Along Forest Avenue and Haven Esplanade,  homes are large and impressive.        havenEspl1

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