Tuesday, March 26, 2013

allow limited number of boating on sprain lake (Greenburgh/Yonkers border)

Now that spring has arrived, it’s my hope that Westchester County officials will consider allowing a limited number of non power driven boats to use Sprain Lake on a trial basis. Allowing kayaking on the Sprain has been talked about for a number of years and has met some resistence from the county in the past. I believe that if the county authorized a test program (limited hours and limited number of boats) they will realize what an incredible asset the Sprain is and how allowing the Sprain to be used for non powered boats would be an enormous property value booster, quality of life enhancer. Allowing boating would help local governments attract people to the county and would help local businesses as well. After the trail experiment is over the county could consider expanding the number of hours or boats allowed. This has the potential to be a big revenue booster for the county as well.

Westchester County should authorize boaters to launch boats on Sprain Lake for recreational purposes. There are possible launching areas at the lake that would not interfere with golfers who enjoy golfing at Sprain Lake Golf Course. Currently, the only other lower Westchester County place to row is on Glen Island and the course is almost full to capacity. The NYAC, Pelham Community Rowing Assoc, Iona College, Pelham H.S., Riverdale H.S. and various other individuals are all using this site. It is essential that another site be opened for these booming water sport. Rowing and kayaking provide a tremendous opportunity for H.S. kids to participate in lifetime a sport, and may even help them acquire college scholarships. It would be great for the Greenburgh and Yonkers High Schools to be able to start programs for their students.

There has also been an incredible surge in Masters rowing programs. Many are returning to the sport they loved in college, and many more first time rowers are experiencing the joy of being on the water and improving their health through the great cardiovascular benefits of rowing.

Photos have been submitted to the county re: possible launch sites for boats.. These site are at the northern end of the golf course and do not in any way interfere with the golfers. There is also plenty of land that would be suitable to erect a temporary fenced in area to store boats for a trial use of the water. If all goes well and the community embraces the use of the lake, a permanent structure could be built for the storage of the boats.

There are several colleges in the area that are also looking for a better site to row. They may be able to assist with the installation of the fenced in area and help provide equipment for the high school programs to use to get started. This could be a revenue generator for the county. We have an asset that is not being taken advantage of by Westchester residents. We can enhance the quality of life for many people if we open up the lake to boating.

The county has said no to this initiative in the past. It’s my hope that they will consider a trial experiment to test out the concept in 2013. I am sure that they will not be disappointed with the results..

Paul Feiner

Greenburgh Town Supervisor