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Landscape plan for Historical Society outlined

Representatives of the Shelter Island Historical Society outlined plans at Tuesday’s Town Board work session for landscaping that would involve changes to parking and the flow of traffic in and out of the group’s site on South Ferry Road.

Architect William Pedersen, who with his wife Elizabeth contributed $1 million to launch a new building addition to the Society, told Town Board members the landscape plan developed by David Kamp of New York City-based Dirtworks would make the overall site an asset to the Society and the town.

The plan calls for removal of invasive vegetation from the pond on the property and replanting of indigenous selections that would create an attractive small park.

The landscaping would enhance the campus surrounding the buildings and create spaces for outdoor activities, while moving parking from an area that has sometimes negatively impacted neighbors on Shady Lane.

A town-owned piece of land adjacent to the Society used for parking could be a site for an affordable housing rental complex, although there are some issues affecting its appropriateness identified by Public Works Commissioner Jay Card Jr. and Town Engineer John Cronin. (Those issues will be addressed in an upcoming issue of the Reporter).

Mr. Pedersen wants to start with landscaping along the length of the side that parallels South Ferry Road. Work around the pond and other areas will require approvals from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and that will take time, Mr. Pedersen said.

Town Board members will visit the site before reaching a formal agreement, but were generally complimentary about the landscaping plan.