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Great Flats Preserve to expand

County approves razing blighted homes, parkland designation planned

The size of the Great Flats Nature Preserve in Rotterdam will expand slightly once two homes are demolished and the plot is designated as parkland. County officials said the move has the added benefit of protecting the area’s aquifer.

The size of the Great Flats Nature Preserve in Rotterdam will expand slightly once two homes are demolished and the plot is designated as parkland. County officials said the move has the added benefit of protecting the area’s aquifer.

— County spokesman Joe McQueen said the county decided to designate the area as parkland because of its close proximity to the aquifer. The previous owners of the property bought it shortly before I-890 was constructed.

“It is not a huge piece of property, it is right there, it makes so much sense just to add it and that is one more buffer to protect the aquifer,” McQueen said. “It just so perfectly fits right in. … A big piece of it is to prevent contamination of the aquifer.”

McQueen said the project is a continuing effort by the Legislature to improve and expand parkland throughout the county. Since 2004, McQueen said the Legislature has invested more than $2 million on such efforts. He also pointed to the county’s efforts to remediate former brownfield sites and derelict properties through economic development efforts.

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