Riverhead Touts Park Expansion

Artist’s renderings of potential Town Square that includes a riverfront children’s playground, near the East End Arts Council.

A pair of new parks — one private, one public — are making progress toward their goal of opening in the Town of Riverhead.

The town is in contract to purchase properties downtown to establish a town square that will serve as a gateway to the Peconic River waterfront while across town in Calverton, Island Water Park, a project in the works nearly two decades, is expected to open this summer, Riverhead Town Supervisor Yvette Aguiar said Feb. 8 during her state of the town address.

“Riverhead will now have a new destination park, consisting of interactive family-friendly entertainment at all skill levels,” Aguiar said of Island Water Park, which will feature an indoor surf pool, restaurant, café and family entertainment.

The proprietor, Eric Scott, owner of Island Water Sports in Port Jefferson, scrapped prior plans to include a lake on which visitors could waterski using overhead tow cables.

The town square project is not as far along. Riverhead’s Community Development Agency (CDA) obtained $1.8 million in grants from New York State and Suffolk County to acquire three properties on Main Street.

“Two parcels will be demolished, opening Main Street to green and open space leading to our beautiful riverwalk,” Aguiar said, noting that the nearby old Sweezy’s building will become the Long Island Science Museum, complementing the town square. “Our new Town Square will become a public gathering space, with pedestrian connectivity and open vistas to the Peconic River.”

The news comes after Suffolk lawmakers recently closed on 93 acres of farmland and waterfront open space that is slated to be turned into county-run passive parkland overlooking the Long Island Sound.

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