Envisioning a brighter future
Sustainable Long Island continues to partner with the Coalition to further organizational development and the implementation of the Sustainable Community Plan.
Spawned by local interest in improving the quality of life and addressing significant safety issues along one of Long Island’s deadliest roads – State Route 25, Sustainable Long Island facilitated a Sustainable Community Planning Process in the summer and fall of 2006 for the communities of Selden and Centereach, collectively known as Middle Country. In partnership with the Middle Country Coalition for Smart Growth and the Town of Brookhaven, the people of Middle Country put aside their differences and worked together; identifying 11 goals the community focused on for improvement:
- Beautify the Community
- Create Additional Recreation and Entertainment Options
- Improve the Middle Country Road Corridor and Enhance Public Transportation Options
- Enhance Pedestrian Access Throughout the Community
- Improve the Local Economy and Business Offerings
- Create Town Centers and Community Spaces
- Improve Safety for Pedestrians and Motorists
- Enhance the Local Utility Infrastructure
- Develop More Housing Options
- Improve Government Policy and Responsiveness
- Create a Sense of Place and Enhance Community Pride
Sustainable Long Island worked collaboratively with the Middle Country Coalition for Smart Growth, Town of Brookhaven, and other local partners and elected officials to complete the Sustainable Community Plan for Middle Country, which was formally adopted by the Town in 2008.
A number of projects to achieve these goals are already underway including improvements to Independence Plaza (one of the sites identified as a potential town center), with green space set aside for community activities and two benches provided by the Coalition. Other projects include the launch of an annual community celebration at the Middle Country Public library to foster community pride and celebrate Middle Country and sidewalk installations around schools along with an installation of an electronic community bulletin board. Also, Hobbs Community Farm has been revived and is thriving as a working community farm and education center:
- In 2009, the Town of Brookhaven purchased the development rights to the farm, preserving it as an open space. The farmhouse has been restored, with a caretaker who now lives on site to help maintain the farm, along with volunteers who operate a small farmstand on the property.
In addition, the New York State Department of Transportation has begun long desired improvements to Middle Country Road in Selden, including repaving projects, adding street trees, striping of crosswalks and countdown signs at strategic locations, as well as bike lanes in the shoulder of the road and signs to indicate places of interest.
Middle Country Plan