In 2002 New York City’s Parks Department wrote:
“March’s Capital Project of the Month is the restoration of Kissena Lake. It will be undergoing a $1.77 million restoration project, funded by Council Member Julia Harrison, beginning this spring. It is said that the lake and park are named after the Chippewa word “kissina,” meaning “it is cold.”
This capital project is necessary because of construction done to the lake sixty years ago. The WPA drained the lake in 1943 and filled it with a concrete liner, giving it the nickname of a “bathtub lake.” While originally this project was meant to improve the lake, the lake’s health is now at risk. Kissena Lake plays host to phragmites, a particularly invasive species of plant, and the water is frequently choked with single-cell algae.
The capital project includes constructing wells and reconstructing the storm drainage system entering the lake. Also, portions of the concrete liner will be removed, naturalizing the edge of the lake. The goal of the project is to improve the water quality which will in turn improve the plant and wildlife habitat in and around the lake. This project at Kissena Lake is the Capital Project of the Month for March.”
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on May 16, 2014.
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