Supervisor Jens-Smith to Hold Clean-Up of Riverhead Train Station
The restoration process of the Riverhead Train Station is beginning this weekend, thanks to dozens of volunteers who will converge on the property Saturday morning at 9:00 AM to dig, mulch and plant dozens of varieties of native greens and wild flowers. This community effort reflects the generous contributions of the MTA, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Home Depot and many other groups and individuals who have joined forces.
The overhaul began earlier this summer when Riverhead Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith first met with MTA officials to discuss the needs of the blighted station. Among the concerns and requested upgrades were the installation of multiple security cameras; replacing frosted glass panels that block view of train tracks; relocating trees that block oncoming street traffic and bricking areas to make it safer and more handicapped accessible.
As a result, the MTA has already taken many steps to increase safety, visibility and upgrade the appearance, including, correcting obstructed views, power washing, making repairs where needed, and security cameras are also on their way.
Along with the assistance from the MTA, Home Depot has donated plants, mulch and the valuable time of their employees who will help with the transformation. Cornell Cooperative Extension has applied their local knowledge to help curate a list of drought resistant native Long Island plants. Master Gardeners Maureen Burns and Karen Engel have donated their talent to design the landscape. Highway Superintendent Gio Woodson and the Highway Department, and Townscape have also contributed their resources and efforts to what has become a community project.
Looking forward to Saturday’s makeover, Jens-Smith praised the project saying, “It’s a great thing when you get people together to do good for their neighbors. And we’re especially happy to be part of transforming this property from ignored to improved. We’re very pleased that the MTA recognized the need to make the Riverhead Train Station safer, more accessible and an asset to the surrounding area. It’s one more step forward as we work together to revitalize our downtown district. By encouraging visitors to take the train and use the Suffolk County Bus system these improvements will help alleviate the fall traffic and make Riverhead more accessible.”
LIRR President Philip Eng said “We are excited to help support and be a part of such a positive effort surrounding our Riverhead train station. Thanks to the Town of Riverhead and the LIRR Stations Department for helping to make this happen. We encourage municipalities across Long Island to reach out and coordinate with us as we continue efforts to create a welcoming atmosphere for our customers who use and the residents who live near our stations.”
Further improvements for the LIRR Train Station and surrounding area will continue this fall.