Charlotte Fahn  Mar.08.2020
Before and after reclamation of the Old Croton Aqueduct trail in Tarrytown

A parking lot that for more than 50 years has blighted a section of the Old Croton Aqueduct trail in Tarrytown is no more. Thanks to State Parks and the Village of Tarrytown, the parking lot - roughly paved, usually unkempt, and often full – has been replaced by a pristine swath of green, with a delineated path and new plantings.

The site, about 500 feet long, is at the corner of Prospect and Martling avenues, behind the Transfiguration Church (“the round church” at 268 South Broadway). According to Steve Oakes, state manager of Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, this section of the Aqueduct had been a parking lot in one form or another since the late 1940s, although the church, which held the permit issued by New York City, had stopped using the parking lot decades ago. 

Once State Parks decided to move ahead with reclaiming the land, Parks staff spent a year removing vehicles from the space, including two abandoned trailers that were full of trash and – improbably - previously registered to a company in western New York State. With fortunate timing, Tarrytown received a grant from the New NY Bridge Community Benefits Fund and made the parking lot site part of its program for the grant. The Village then was able to remove the paving, bring in topsoil, and plant grass and trees.

The result: transformation! Take a walk and see the change for yourself –  the “new” section is a little north of ventilator 14 on the Friends’ map of the Aqueduct in Westchester County.