Sag Harbor Village continues to grow and evolve, and its latest project is one that the whole community can enjoy. On Friday, August 16, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Sag Harbor Village Mayor Kathleen Mulcahy signed an inter-municipal agreement for the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park. The 1.25-acre property, purchased with the Community Preservation Fund (CPF), will be a beautiful outdoor hub for the area. The park is one of many current development projects in Sag Harbor, including the renovation of the Long Wharf and the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center.
Mulcahy, who just won the mayoral vote in June, said at the signing ceremony, “This is a banner day for Sag Harbor, a community which has poured millions of dollars into the Community Preservation Fund, particularly the last few years. The new park saves an absolutely vital piece of our waterfront from development and instead offers a lovely gateway to our village.”
Schneiderman echoed the sentiment, stating, “The Town of Southampton is proud to partner with the Village of Sag Harbor to create this new waterfront park. “Steinbeck Park will enhance the Village experience for everyone and honor a great American author who cherished Sag Harbor.”
The park is named, of course, after John Steinbeck, who had a home in Sag Harbor. Steinbeck is known for such seminal literary works as Of Mice and Men, Travels with Charley, The Winter of Our Discontent, East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath.
“You know, I think it’s wonderful for the residents, it’s going to make a beautiful gateway for our village,” says Mulcahy. “It’s what the CPF was created for. It’s a win-win for everybody. It’s good for the village, it’s good for the town, it’s good for Southampton trustees and it’s good for the developers. I hope that it will continue to be something good all the way around.”
Currently, the beautiful park is quite simple, and Mulcahy thinks that’s just fine. “It’s nice and open—we have picnic tables and benches and let people move them around,” she says. “Every time I go by it looks different. We’re just going to see how people use it. It’s one of the best sunset spots in Sag Harbor. You can even see the sun setting over Long Beach in the distance.”
Landscape architect Edmund Hollander does have plans for the space, including a raised dining grove, a weather station, literary walk and book lending stand (inspired by the park’s namesake legendary author), bird watching tower, small amphitheater and boardwalk. But these plans are not necessarily set in stone, and Mulcahy hopes the community will offer suggestions.
“I like the idea of the public having the input into it,” says Mulcahy, who plans to raise funds to continue to develop the park with the help of the Sag Harbor Partnership, which has been instrumental in the renovation of the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center “I am going to continue to champion it. We’re going to take it slowly and figure it out.”