Tucked away in a sleepy corner of Long Island is a municipal miracle.
When I was a girl, I remember a stinky stretch of highway on approach to the beach. That offending garbage landfill was capped. In 2000, it opened as Levy Park, a 115-foot high hill with guided paths to the top. Along the way are native vegetation, weed-eating goats, tick-eating Guinea fowl, exercise stations, views that remind you of just where you are.
The steep walk up is worth it. Winding paths create different views of ordinary scenes: the local garbage department, a shopping center, a golf course.
The view to the west shows an industrial area and in the distance, the New York City skyline. I’m told that sometimes you can see the ships lined up in New York harbor.
A bit to the east is a golf course and the coastal homes of a very pretty community. And I say to the south; the brochure says east: the very beach, Jones, that we had to pass through a fetid odor to enjoy.
Solar powered jitneys, driven by knowledgeable locals, make this available to those who cannot do the walk. Solar panels are also on the windmill at the top of the hill. It aerates the two ponds that are home to local waterfowl.
At the base of the hill is the goat barn, parking lot and a kayak launch. You can rent one or two person kayaks to tour the murky brook during high tide. And just outside the parking lot the garbage trucks are a reminder of this hill’s pungent history and gorgeous present.