City approves sledding hill project for Eastview Park

FLUSHING — When the snow starts to fly next winter, Flushing families will have a new sledding hill to call their very own at one of the city’s most popular parks.

On March 8, Flushing City Council approved a project to construct a sledding hill at Eastview Park on the city’s northeast side. The hill is expected to span around one acre in length and will be developed with 6,000 to 7,000 cubic yards of dirt from the city’s upcoming Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) renovation project.

Interest in developing a new sledding hill for the city began within the community last year, as residents approached the city council and the Flushing City Parks and Recreation Committee with ideas. After much discussion, Parks and Rec selected Eastview Park as the most suitable location for a sled hill and presented the concept to the city for recommendation.

Flushing City Manager Clarence Goodlein said that a sled hill will give families a winter attraction they can enjoy close to home and provide the city with a key recreational escape.

“The development of a sledding hill where families can bring their children to sled, congregate and share a sense of community is consistent with Flushing’s history and tradition as well as its core values and commitment to families,” he said. “Its recreational offering will foster strong and effective childhood development and provide the community with another venue at which it can develop a sense of community and commitment to their neighbors and neighborhoods.”

For many years, the city’s official sled hill stood in Riverview Park near the now-demolished Tucker Pool. Although the hill was a spoil pile left over from construction of Flushing’s current City Hall, it soon became a favorite sledding spot for several generations. The city eventually removed the mound in January 2020, using the dirt to fill in the Tucker Pool demolition site.

As planned, the new sledding hill will be constructed on the southwest corner of Eastview Park. Altogether, the project is expected to cost anywhere from $38,000 to $44,000.

Goodlein said that most of the cost associated with the project ($18,000 to $20,000) will revolve around the shaping and design of the hill once the dirt is delivered to Eastview Park. Another $12,000 to $15,000 has been estimated for the cost of adding topsoil.

However, Goodlein said that there will be no cost for transporting the dirt from the WWTP project, given that the city has negotiated with the construction contractor to move the dirt to Eastview Park without a fee.

Rowe Professional Services Corporation, the city’s contracted engineering company, will design the sled hill concept and manage the hill’s development.

When the hill is completed, Goodlein said that the city will mow the grass, control soil erosion and monitor the grade of sledding and approach slopes in the spring/summer months. During the winter, the city will maintain a regular snow plowing schedule to guarantee access to the hill.

Work on the sledding hill will begin once the WWTP renovation project gets underway. The city is aiming to have the hill ready for public use sometime after October or November this year.