From The President

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November 2017

The Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes and its members have been working for the last 10 years to get the Willow Lake (Upper Lake) spillway repaired and fixed. The East wall was in danger of failing until we were able to get Brookhaven Town to brace it up and temporarily maintain it for all these years. Well, after many years of promises, our spillway project is on its way. The spillway project is incorporated with another project, installation of a fish ladder. These two projects are complete but they are now part of a much larger project that the Town has undertaken.

The Town is going to replace the entire wooden bulkhead that runs from the concrete spillway and fish ladder to the East side of the lake. They are also going to build a five-foot wide handicap walkway from the Swezey-Avey House to the spillway. This will make the front of the lake accessible for everyone. By parking at the Swezey-Avey House parking lot it will be an easy walk for everyone. There will be a wooden boardwalk that will be on grade so it will blend in with the natural landscape.

The Town has agreed to put a historically-appropriate fence around the spillway; the boards are being supplied by the Yaphank Historical Society. They are also going to put large stones at the spillway to give it a more natural stream look. Currently the water goes over the spillway and drops about five feet onto a concrete slab. Part of the overall project will also include landscaping. This will entail plantings at the spillway as well as along the path all the way to the Swezey-Avey House property. The surrounding lawn will be turned over and irrigation will be put in and a sod lawn will be installed.

We are looking forward to having our spillway completed and the Swezey-Avey House property restored to its former beauty. The Yaphank Historical Society and the Coalition to Save the Yaphank Lakes have worked hard for many years to finally have this project complete.

Our next priority is to get the Swezey-Avey House and the grounds and the spillway put on the National Register of Historic Places. We are working on getting this done. Special thanks go to Parks Commissioner Eddie Morris and his entire staff for all of their hard work in getting this done.

- Robert Kessler, President