Staten Island residents fight to save green space from becoming condos

Staten Island
Screen capture Google Maps

A group of Staten Island residents are fighting to keep a 15-acre green space from being developed for residential condos. The property is known as Mount Manresa, and was until recently a community space owned by Jesuits. However, the property has been sold to Savo Brothers of Prince's Bay for $15 million. Mount Manresa is home to one of the scarce wild spaces that has remained undeveloped since the Dutch settled New York.

Community members and several local politicians are pushing the City of New York to buy the property and keep it open to public under eminent domain. "Today, and for the last seven months, we are screaming for the protection of the government for our health and quality of life," Barbara Sanchez, secretary of the Committee to Save Mount Manresa, told TreeHugger. "We have come to them with 10,000 signatures, and have been working to find alternative solutions including eminent domain, and alternate purchasers, ... to make this a park for the public."

However, Savo Brothers have obtained a permit for a construction fence and began dismantling some of the signs around the property yesterday.

The Committee to Save Mount Manresa is asking for signatures for a petition to make the property a park and will be holding a protest outside the property at 10:00 AM tomorrow, February 22, reports the Staten Island Advance.

"The damage to this pristine 15 acres and loss of Mount Manresa's old growth forest, our natual lungs, will cause irreparable harm to our health and quality of life," said Sanchez. She said they will continue to fight to save Mount Manresa, "because to be quiet and stand back and let this just "happen" is an injustice to all of Staten Island."

Tags: Construction | New York City | Preservation