Proposals for limited public access to Long Island have been studied for years, but haven’t progressed beyond the planning phases. Like so many harbor-island projects, they’re subject to notoriously insufficient funds, glacial decision-making, and asphyxiating red tape.
It’s an all-too-familiar story line, one which made the breakneck construction of Camp Harbor View on Long Island so stunning to island advocates. In less than four months in 2007, the island’s former military parade ground was transformed into a sparkling summer day camp that hosts 800 inner-city children each summer. Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and retired advertising executive Jack Connors spearheaded the project, which was built with private funds and serves as an example of how a civic project can happen if it receives community and governmental backing.
For many kids, the camp is their first introduction to the harbor, even though they live just miles away. It’s their first chance to breathe in the cool, briny summer breezes and enjoy Long Island’s open spaces. If there are any budding authors among the campers who are inspired by their experiences on Long Island, chances are their tales will be quite different from Shutter Island.
Christopher Klein, the author of Discovering the Boston Harbor Islands, can be reached at email@example.com.
: Lifestyle Features
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