The Town of Brookhaven is celebrating the opening of its new, nearly 100-acre park in the heart of Shirley.
Patriots Preserve, located in the Colony Preserve complex, off William Floyd, was unveiled to the public after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a crisp, sunny day.
“This is a long time in the making,” said Brookhaven Councilman Dan Panico, who grew up in the area and spearheaded this initiative.
The park boasts a 4-acre lake, a playground, a picnic area, and walking trails. It was developed on the former site of a 205-acre golf course called Links at Shirley, which closed over a decade ago. The land was divided to accommodate The Colony Preserve, a neighborhood featuring 75 single-family homes and 150 age-restricted townhouses, as well as the town’s 99-acre recreational park.
The opening of Patriots Preserve marks the beginning of a multi-phase project.
“When it is fully built out, this will be the largest park in Brookhaven Town,” said Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine at the ribbon cutting. “There will be several other sections as we get money.”
Romaine said sports fields and additional playgrounds are some of the items on the town’s wishlist for the preserve. “There will be something for everyone in this park,” he said.
Panico said a chunk of the future funding for the park will come from the developer of the wind farm, who will be building an onshore transmission cable that will run down William Floyd Parkway. Panico said there will be three payments of $1 million each, in addition to $80,000 earmarked for the park over the next two decades.
“It’s an exciting time in the tri-hamlet community, with the new sewer district, new [Smith Point] bridge… and this, I’ve always referred to as sort of the Eisenhower-type park, a little smaller, for Shirley, Mastic and Mastic Beach people to come and enjoy.”
Scroll down to view photos of the newly opened Patriots Preserve.
(Photos were taken by Nicholas Esposito/ GLI Photos)