During the 1970s and 1980s, the New Brighton Citizens’ Committees Inc. requested that the huge undeveloped hillside on the north shore of Staten Island know as Jones’ Woods become parkland. Many government officials said it was a great idea but didn't do it.
Jones’ Woods has wonderful high hilltop vistas and lush wildlife offering 360 degrees of beautiful natural greenery in certain places. Even though these huge woodlands were privately owned, in this densely populated diverse community they were utilized as public green space for many decades.
In the 1990s developers began to tear down the trees in the upper portion of Jones’ Woods. Portions of the hillside began to be eroded and the SI Advance documented actual mudslides onto Alden Place beneath the new construction.
Citizens of New Brighton came out in the hundreds to say that this last largest undeveloped hillside must not fall victim to this kind of over-development. Our civic organization worked diligently to call attention to the situation, and neighbors from all over Staten Island began to join us.
Elected officials made promises of support on many occasions. However, only Councilman Jay O’Donovan actually allocated money to this environmental preservation, though not enough to complete the purchase.
But then Michael McMahon made a campaign promise to complete the acquisition of Jones’ Woods as parkland. Now over ten years after his predecessor’s initial commitment, Councilman McMahon has indeed come through big time for the residents of Staten Island.
It was not an easy acquisition, to say the least. But when it comes to something like losing this much of God’s natural beauty to bulldozers, McMahon is not the type to let obstacles stand in the way of our commitment to this borough. Thanks to our extraordinary efforts, almost 15 acres of natural wooded hillside will remain just that for generations to come and enjoy forever.
In a republic, citizens are supposed to elect representatives that serve the public well in government. In this instance, Michael McMahon is that true public servant, the kind all the voters of Staten Island are blessed to have working for them.