Large mesh cages filled with rocks, boulders and coir logs are starting to surround Babylon Village’s Argyle Lake as the shoreline restoration project progresses at the popular park.
“We’re trying to shore up the shoreline around Argyle Lake,” said Babylon Village Mayor Ralph Scordino. “It’s one of our most historical lakes… we don’t want to lose it.”
In 2017, the South Shore village received a $365,000 state grant from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historical Preservation to restore the shoreline that’s been dealing with erosion for years. The project, which will cost around $730,000 in total, will fortify the land that touches the lake.
Over the years, weathering of this area has led to destabilized pathways for park visitors and it’s also made it harder for wildlife to travel back and forth between the water and land.
“We wanted to put something in to shore it up and make it look nice,” said Scordino.
The Department of Environmental Conservation worked with the village to give them specific regulations on what can and cannot be on the lake’s shore.
So last month, the mesh cages — known as gabion baskets — began to be set up on the north side of the lake.
The baskets start out as large sheets of mesh that are molded into square baskets and filled with rocks. Eventually, workers with the Village Highway, Parks and Maintenance crews will cover the tops with topsoil, and plant beach grass, along with other vegetation.
The project will continue around the lake, adding large boulders and coir logs (woven coconut husks) to help prevent erosion, along with with providing safety to visitors and the local wildlife, as per the DEC’s standards.
“There were certain guidelines we had to follow,” Scordino said. “Hopefully it will be done within the next few months.”
While the project is not near completion, the village is hoping for all the baskets, boulders and husks to be laid down by the fall.
All photos by Julianne Mosher.