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Drinking Fountain Work Begins at Isham Park After 30 Years Without Water

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 23, 2014 11:42am
 The Parks Department will begin a major project to install drinking fountains and irrigation boxes in Isham Park on Tuesday.
The Parks Department will begin a major project to install drinking fountains and irrigation boxes in Isham Park on Tuesday.
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NYC Parks

INWOOD — After more than 30 dry years, uptowners should be able to get a drink of water at Isham Park next year.

Work to bring water fountains to the park by next spring is set to begin Tuesday, the Parks Department said this week.

The department will install two drinking fountains during the project — one in the Isham Alley near Park Terrace West and one in the center of the park, west of Park Terrace Circle. Both fountains will include low-to-the-ground fountains for dogs.

Underground water pipes will snake through the park, Northern Manhattan Parks Administrator Jennifer Hoppa explained in an email, affecting the Memorial Bench Circle and the bluestone circle in the park's upper lawn. 

Construction will disrupt streets and sidewalks around the park as crews tap into existing water mains to run service into the park. Water lines will be tapped at Seaman Avenue and Isham Street, the Isham Alley at Broadway near 212th Street and along the perimeter of Bruce's Garden at Park Terrace East and Park Terrace East Circle. 

In addition to the drinking fountains, Parks will install seven irrigation boxes for use by maintenence, along with backflow prevention devices that will keep water from returning into the street pipes.

No work will take place inside Bruce's Garden, as the Parks Department promised in March after volunteers raised concerns about the project's impact on the garden named after a 9/11 first responder

Several plants will need to be removed during the project, Hoppa said, including shrubs along Isham Alley and at the Seaman Avenue and 212th and 214th Street intersections. Parks gardeners will move the Seaman Avenue shrubs to a new location and the department has partnered with a local Girl Scout troop to move the Isham Alley plants.

In addition, four storm-damanged Norway maple trees will be removed completely from the 212th Street slope, Hoppa said, adding that the trees are unstable.

"Some members of the community have long requested that these potential dangers be removed," Hoppa said, noting that replacement trees have been planted along Park Terrace West.

The Parks Department will meet with residents as the project progresses to gain input on locations for additional replacements.