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Preservation Committee to Debut Osprey Landing, Host Wetlands Cleanup

Group will reopen upgraded section of Udalls Cove during 42nd annual meeting.

The Udalls Cove Preservation Committee will during the group’s 42nd annual meeting and wetlands cleanup on April 28.

Osprey Landing is in the northwest corner of the park and located immediately south of Memorial Field.

Several decades ago, the site was a wasteland where asphalt and concrete were dumpted into the wetlands.

But the preservation committee joined forces with the earlier this year to clean up the site with the intention of reopening it as a spot for bird watching and fishing during high tide.

Its name pays homage to the nesting platform where birds live each year from March to October.

"The site is really quite attractive now," said Walter Mugdan, the preservation committee's president. "It’s in bloom, which is pretty, and the trails are very nice. We may have some additional woodchips we’ll ask people to spread on the day of the event. It will be a good opportunity for people to get their hands dirty."

The committee will begin its annual meeting and wetlands cleanup at 10 a.m. The dedication ceremony for Osprey Landing will begin at 1 p.m.

A number of community leaders are expected to attend, including state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, City Councilman Dan Halloran, R-Whitestone, and representatives from the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation.

The meeting, which will be held near Aurora Pond, is going to include updates on restoration initiatives, such as Osprey Landing, the reopening of 1/3-mile of trails at Virginia Point, tree limb removal and wood chip spreading at Aurora Pond that was completed in the wake of Hurricane Irene and restoration of foot trails at .

The group will also discuss the removal of debris, including 27 tires and two shopping carts, from Old Oak Pond, which lies between Douglaston Parkway and the community’s golf driving range.

And attendees will also get updates on tree plantings at Virginia Point to replace ones that were and the .

Mugdan said the group has spent an estimated $10,000 on these restoration efforts.

An additional $1,500 was contributed by the Douglas Manor Association for the Osprey Landing project.

During the cleanup, volunteers will be asked to remove bottles, cans and other plastics from Little Neck Bay.

"It’s the biggest event we have during the year," Mugdan said. "It’s a perpetual maintenance kind of thing. Most of the garbage we pull out during our cleanup is newly accumulated throughout the last year."

Participants should wear long pants and sturdy shoes or boots. Trash collection bags will be provided, but attendees should bring their own work gloves.

The cleanup will begin immediately after the meeting. A free picnic lunch will be handed out at Memorial Field shortly after noon.

For more information, call 718-224-7256.

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