Halls Pond Park is centrally located in West Hempstead, NY, this 11-acre park includes a 5.5-acre pond with a walkway and a wooded area on its north side. Hall’s Pond is a local setting for quiet walks and community activities. The park is one of several County properties that were originally designed for drainage purposes and were later turned into public parks.
Halls Pond Park, which comprises three contiguous parcels of land acquired by the county between 1956 and 1970, is categorized as a “passive” park because it is smaller than other county parks and has a much smaller green area.
The terrain is flat with mature trees covering about 30% of the site. There are two buildings at Hall’s Pond Park; an older brick building containing bathrooms near the corner of Hempstead Avenue and Nassau Boulevard and a new building containing bathrooms along Hempstead Avenue just west of where Springfield Boulevard dead-ends at the park.
For nearly a decade, West Hempstead residents have pushed for Halls Pond Park to be refurbished because, they said, it is an asset to the community. The park is the site of a wide range of community events, including summer concerts, fairs, memorial and religious services. In recent months, residents have stepped up efforts to encourage the county to move faster to refurbish the park.
“Considering what has not been done to Hall’s Pond Park all these years, we will continue to stress whenever we can that Hall’s Pond should be a top priority for the county at this point when discussing park improvements,” said Rosalie Norton, president of the West Hempstead Community Support Association. “The park has been approved for the improvement funding, and it’s time for the county to make good on the promise that it made a long time ago that it will improve this park because this community has waited long enough.” The county has allocated $1.7 million for the park’s refurbishment, and it is currently in the design phase. The project calls for a new concession stand and bathrooms and to eliminate ponds and stagnant water on the site.
A waterfront pavilion featuring stone-and-wood landscaping and a shaded walkway would be built along the south side of Hall’s Pond as part of the plan. Plans also call for three lighted baseball fields, six lighted tennis courts, four basketball courts, two bocce courts, play equipment, benches, and picnic tables. The county Board of Legislators approved funding for this project last year.
However, it has not been scheduled because of a lack of funds in the county’s Parks Capital Budget.
During the evening hours, wildlife can be observed at Hall’s Pond Park. Most wildlife is nocturnal, but wildlife activities are sometimes observed during the day. Many of these wildlife sightings include birds that come to fish or forage in the water.
There are also white-tailed deer that roam freely throughout the park daily, some of which have been tagged by residents due to their tame nature.
“It is so interesting to watch wildlife interact with each other here because they never seem bothered by human activity around them at all,” said West Hempstead resident Anna Gallagher. “The wildlife adds more character to this park besides simply being just another green open space for people to enjoy their free time. It’s a place where wildlife and humans coexist.”
The wildlife at the park represents what would be found in Hempstead Lake State Park, across the street from Hall’s Pond Park. The wildlife around the pond is among many animals that have adapted over time to survive in an urban environment. Originally, the wildlife was not used to human activity because it was secluded far away from nearby houses. However, as more people began to populate this area, wildlife had to adapt to living closely with these new neighbors. Therefore, their diets are similar to those of native wildlife but may also include crumbs or small bits of food left by visitors or residents near them.
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