General Management Plan
NEW VISION FOR A GREAT URBAN PARK
Gateway National Recreation Area (Gateway) was established with the dream of bringing a National Park Service experience to the New York metropolitan area. The world has changed since Gateway was established in 1972. Working together we need to figure out what it means to be a great urban park in the 21st century.
Three years ago, Gateway began its journey to develop a General Management Plan (GMP). Please take a few minutes to look at the alternatives for the future of Gateway. One alternative is the "no-action" alternative. This is a required alternative and it means that we will be doing things pretty much as we are now. Alternative B – Discovering Gateway takes actions that will strengthen the connection between the park and local communities making the park easier to access by bike, on foot, or in a car and promotes the opportunities to participate in healthy activities. Alternative C – Experiencing Preserved Places recognizes that the natural and cultural resources in Gateway are a valuable asset to the people who use the park. This alternative allows plenty of opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the history and nature that makes Gateway such a special place. Alternative D – Connecting Coastlines acknowledges that the natural, cultural and recreational opportunities at Gateway owe a lot to the park's proximity to water – ocean, bays and ponds. This alternative focuses on water-based resources, activities and modes of transportation.
Regardless of which alternative we choose, we know that there are some things we have to do.
One thing we do know is that we need to keep evolving to stay relevant to the communities near the park and to serve as a primary introduction to the National Park Service for the millions of residents and visitors who are in the area. And while we work on the GMP we are working on programs that will strengthen those connections such as new camping opportunities at Floyd Bennett Field, Fort Wadsworth and Sandy Hook; and programs such as Tu Parque, Tu Salud.
Another thing we know is that we can't do it on our own. We need a wide variety of partners including non-profit groups, businesses and other government agencies. Partnerships are so important to us that we've been exploring a new partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to create a park around Jamaica Bay that would include City Park and National Park lands. The goal of this partnership would be to make a seamless park that benefits people and wildlife while making the best use of limited tax dollars.
And last, but certainly not least, we need to hear from you! You are a key part of the process. What do you think Gateway needs to be a great urban park? In the fall of 2010, we asked for your thoughts on three concepts for the park. Your ideas and concerns helped us shape the management alternatives that are more fully described in the newsletter. A summary of all the comments we received can be found in the We Listened and Learned from You section of this newsletter on pages 6 and 7. We are asking for your help and input again. We need your help to make the changes in Gateway that you would like to see without changing the things you value most. Please look at the details in the newsletter. Imagine visiting the park and how it would be different in the different alternatives. Figure out how your favorite parts of the park would change. How would does the meaning and location of management zones effect those areas? Then, tell us what you think.
As Gateway celebrates its 40th anniversary we want to build on those first 40 years by taking a park that has been good for you by making it even greater for your grandchildren.
Gateway National Recreation Area
Planner, National Park Service