Sunday, May 23, 2010

O'Sullivan's Island, Derby

What a difference a few years make! The old hazardous waste site along the Derby Greenway has been turned into a riverside park, much like "The Slab" in Shelton.

The new park can be accessed from the Derby Greenway (providing some nice greenery for this rather hot and shadeless path), or more directly from the Derby boat launch located under the Route 8 bridge (get there via Caroline Street).

Here's what O'Sullivan's Island looked like just a couple years ago. It's not actually an island any longer due to historic filling. The site was seriously contaminated with PCBs and strictly off-limits to the public. (Click the photo to enlarge). An EPA webpage details the contamination issues they had to contend with.

And here's what it looks like now. Lawn and new trees planted (Click the pan photo to enlarge). Here's an article about the clean-up last year.

Looking downriver along the Housatonic you would hardly know you were in an urban area.

Lots of Cottonwood trees along the floodplain there going to seed. The "cotton" was blowing all over.

You can always tell where the good fishing spots are by the numbers of fisherman congregating there. Some very large fish, including big Stripers, swim up the river looking for food.

This area was industrial and densely populated going back to the 1800's, and there is plenty of evidence of that here. The ground is littered with antique pieces of glass and metal, making a walk along the shoreline a bit of an archeological expedition.

Nice job, Derby!

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