Page 29

Photo by D. Guest

DAN'S PAPERS, March 14, 2008 Page 29

Moving the Big Duck back to its original location in 2007.

Duck Landscaping ABeautiful 37-Acre Park Set to Surround the Big Duck in Flanders By Janine Cheviot The Big Duck has been nesting at its original location on Route 24 in Flanders since last October, when it was moved back there from down the road in Hampton Bays. But the Duck’s current digs — a visibly neglected tract of land occupied by several rundown structures — is an eyesore to passing motorists. It seems that the Big Duck, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, deserves a spruced up nesting place, and the community agrees. After years of discussion, plans for the Big Duck Park were presented to the Southampton Town Board on February 29 by Tim Rumph of

Araiys Design, Richard Martin of the Big Duck Advisory Committee and Jefferson Murphree of Southampton Town Planning and Development. The proposed 37-acre park is envisioned to one day be the focal point of Flanders. Rumph said the project could be completed in five to seven years, costing the Town an estimated $5 to $7 million. Plans for the Big Duck Park include the planting of community gardens, rest rooms, a visitor’s center and waterfront access to Reeves Bay for canoeing and kayaking. Rumph expressed interest in creating a learning center and outdoor classrooms to provide education on Flanders’ culture and history, focusing

on the significance of duck farming in the area. Also discussed was creating a venue on the site where community events, such as concerts and carnivals, could be held. The rundown structures that presently share the Big Duck’s location on Route 24 once belonged to Martin Maurer, the duck farmer who built the Big Duck in 1931. Plans also include the restoration of what can be salvaged of these buildings, but many of them are in serious disrepair and could pose safety risks. The Town and community are determined to follow through with plans for the Big Duck Park, but several roadblocks still stand in their (continued on the next page)

DOWNTOWN PARK TO TRANSFORM HAMPTON BAYS By Lauren Isenberg Imagine a warm spring day, the sun shining brightly, an ocean breeze blowing and Main Street crowded with people walking their dogs, riding bikes, grabbing a sandwich or strolling through the shops. Sounds like Sag Harbor. But in the near future it could be Hampton Bays. A plan is in the works for a new park in the hamlet called Good Ground (Hampton Bays’ name prior to 1922). The park’s close proximity to town will give it the potential of changing the face of Hampton Bays. Behind Montauk Highway, eight of the 30 acres of woodland

area purchased in 2003 with $3.8 million in Community Preservation Fund monies may become a refuge with hiking and nature trails that are just minutes from Dunkirk’s Deli or JT’s Place restaurant. Tim Rumph of Araiys Design said, “Its proximity to the business district of Hampton Bays is unique in the Town of Southampton. The park will be easily accessible to residents, business patrons and employees within the business district.” Some locals have concerns that the park development may disrupt the animals that live in the large woodland area. “It depends how much they will actually tear down,” said a

Gator’s employee, who wished to remain anonymous. “It will be nice for the town, it certainly wouldn’t hurt Hampton Bays, but we have to remember the animals.” The park may not disrupt the wildlife, because the plan is to have a woodland park with trails rather than a wide-open space that would require clearing. “The park concept as a ‘woodland park’ is dictated by the site itself,” explained Rumph. “Its natural features of rolling topography and woodland lend themselves to passive use for trails and a scenic area.” (continued on page 41)

Dan's Papers Mar. 14, 2008  

Dan's Papers, the 51-year-old bible of the Hamptons, is owned by Manhattan Media, a multi-media publishing company based in New York City,...

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