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Town of Southampton116 HAMPTON ROAD SOUTHAMPTON, NEW YORK 11968JAY SCHNEIDERMAN SUPERVISOR
COUNCIL MEMBERSJOHN BOUVIER, JULIE LOFSTADCHRISTINE P. SCALERA, TOMMY JOHN SCHIAVONI
Sag Harbor, August 1 - Almost four years to the day since the Mayor and Trustees of The Village of Sag Harbor initiated a bold plan to create a vital new waterfront park in the heart of the community, John Steinbeck Waterfront Park will become a reality.
At 10:00 am on Friday, August 16th, the Town of Southampton will fo1111ally transfer to the Village management and operation of the site, acquired just last week by the Town under its Community Preservation Fund (CPF). The event will cap an effort, reaching back almost a generation, to save from condominium development one of the last remaining waterfront parcels in downtown Sag Harbor. The new park will be linked with the existing Windmill Park and soon to-be updated Long Wharf, forming a major interconnected and integrated waterfront amenity at the center of Village life. It will directly serve the residents of Sag Harbor and the surrounding area, as well as support the tourism which today plays a vital role in the economic health of the community.
"The Town of Southampton is proud to partner with the Village of Sag Harbor to create this new waterfront park," said Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman. "Steinbeck Park will enhance the Village experience for everyone and honor a great American author who cherished Sag Harbor."
"Sag Harbor Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy said, "This is a banner day for Sag Harbor, a community which has poured millions of dollars into the Community Preservation Fund particularly the past few years. The new park saves an absolutely vital piece of our waterfront from development and instead offers a lovely gateway to our village. We expect in due time this will become a beautiful amenity for residents and visitors alike. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Town and the dedication and hard work of Mayor Sandra Schroeder and Trustee Jim Larocca, who tirelessly led this eff011 over the past four years."
John Steinbeck was a Village resident for the last sixteen years of his life, and deeply involved in Sag Harbor. He was instrumental in the creation of the windmill on Long Wharf, as well as the event now known as HarborFest, which takes place each Fall. Steinbeck, author of twenty-seven books, including sixteen novels, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. He was a major figure in American literature in the 20th century, and penned at least two of his best-selling novels while living in Sag Harbor - The Winter of Our Discontent (196l) and Travels with Charlie (1962). He died in 1968.
Informal planning and design of the park is being headed up by Edmund Hollander, a renowned landscape architect and Village resident. That process will now accelerate and include significant public involvement and input as it goes forward. In the meantime, the site will open to the public on an interim basis as a 1.25 acre green space, with split rail fencing, picnic tables and benches.
"This acquisition with Community Preservation Funds from the Town of Southampton provides uninterrupted water views and a link with Long Wharf. The two municipalities and many individuals worked together to get to this point," said Lisa Kombrink, CPF Manager."
"My family and I are ecstatic that we have been able to play a role in making John Steinbeck Park a reality," said Jay Bialsky , Developer.
The public is invited to join in the event at the park site on August 16th, to be presided over by Southampton Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Sag Harbor Village Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy.