Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Bird Blind Opens in Flushing Meadows by Liz Rhodes - Queens Chronicle

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Flushing Meadows Park opened its first bird blind Saturday near Meadow Lake.

Photo (left) - A bird blind overlooking Meadow Lake near Jurassic Playground is now available for use by the public at Flushing Meadows Park. (photo courtesy Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy)

The wooden structure, approximately 10 feet wide and 8 feet high, is a facility for watching birds while hidden from their view. It is located in a large phragmites (reeds) grove south of the Jurassic Playground.

The blind — with slits to watch birds —is accessible from Jewel Avenue, off the Grand Central Parkway westbound entrance. It was funded by the New York City Environmental Fund.

According to Pat Dolan, president of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy, which sponsored the blind, it was inspired by similar ones at Gateway National Park and Alley Pond Park. It was designed by Ed Fischer, a Kew Gardens Hills resident, who is designing a second one funded by state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-St. Albans).

The second blind is expected to be erected near Willow Lake in the park later this year. The conservancy has worked with the Urban Park Rangers to provide monthly tours of the Willow Lake natural area, a protected wildlife area that is not generally open to the public.

Future conservancy projects include shoreline restoration at Meadow Lake and a three-year reforestation program.

The conservancy was organized almost seven years ago to promote the restoration, maintenance and safety of the park. Its goals are to preserve the natural, historical, cultural and recreational legacy for the public.