It began on a cold First Day walk at the Croton Dam last January 1st, when participants pointed to the rather forlorn circular structure on the grounds of Croton Gorge Park and asked what it was. Friends Walk Leader Sara Kelsey sadly explained that it was a beautiful fountain that had not been turned on for many years.
Fortuitously, one of the hikers on the walk was the Chair of the Westchester County Parks Board, Henry Neale, who thought it must be because the fountain was not in working order. But when we checked with the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, which owns and controls the Croton Dam and Reservoir, they said the fountain was in excellent condition. The fountain, located in a Westchester County Park, is powered by the force of gravity pushing water from the Croton Reservoir through a pipe located underground within the Croton Dam wall and then up through the fountain. It was discovered that the fountain had been turned off during extensive maintenance work performed on the Dam in the mid-2010’s. After the work was completed, the fountain had never been turned back on.
There followed a cooperative multi-person effort between Westchester County Parks and NYC DEP that culminated in the fountain being turned back on after well over a decade, in a ceremony led by Westchester County Executive George Latimer. Just in time for Summer, the clean and wholesome water of the Croton Reservoir once again rises from the fountain, restored to its former force and beauty.
Join us on our next Croton Dam Walk on June 1, 2021.
View the ceremony below: