“It puts another layer of protection on the Ridgewood Reservoir,” said Steven Fiedler, chair of the board’s Parks Committee. “If we can get them to put it on the National Registry of Historic Places, that means they could never touch it again and it has to stay nature.”
It would also open the Highland Park site up to federal grants for improvements such as pathways, elevators, and bridges.
The 19th century-era Ridgewood Reservoir provided water to Brooklyn, but became obsolete once the city began getting its water from the Catskills in 1936
Over time, nature took over and the site became a wetland. It was decommissioned by the Department of Environmental Conservation in 1990, and in 2004 it was given to the Parks Department.
There was talk of it being filled in to construct athletic fields, but now the Parks Department is committed to preserving the space and supports the historic designation.
“Parks is fully committed to preserving the dam as natural open space,” a spokesperson said.