Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead), joined by Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, today officially opened the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Peace Park in Uniondale. The new, reflective park replaces a corner once occupied by an abandoned gas station which was cluttered with concrete slabs, old sidewalks and discarded drywall.
“Dr. King’s message was one of tolerance and understanding, and this park represents that message by providing our residents with a peaceful environment that will serve as a beacon for the community,” Abrahams said.
Joining in the celebration for the opening of the park were Uniondale High School’s Jazz Band and ROTC, as well as members of the Uniondale community.
The park is located at the intersection of Uniondale Avenue and Nassau Road and was designed by the Nassau County Department of Public Works. It includes a bust of Dr. King on top of an elevated circular section of the plaza. Behind the bust will be three flowering dogwood trees, the state tree of Dr. King’s native Georgia. A stone walkway also features several of King’s well-known quotes.
“We’re pleased that this park has been established to honor the memory and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Suozzi said. “And we hope that it will in some small way foster his goal of achieving equal rights and tolerance for everyone.”
The park also features a street clock and flagpole, with the clock located towards the south corner of the plaza so it may be viewed from outside the park, as well as inside.
Funding for the $120,000 project came from Abrahams’ Community Revitalization Project funds. Construction started in November 2006.
“The County’s Department of Public Works department did a stellar job on the design of this project,” said Abrahams. “I am very pleased that the target completion date was realized and I have nothing but high praise for our County’s workforce.”