Horan’s Landing, the prettiest and perhaps least-utilized park in Sleepy Hollow, is about to hit the spotlight, with the help of a few friends.
Susan Macfarlane and Stella Garrick, chairs of the newly formed Friends of Horan’s Landing, have gathered a list of 43 people who’ve expressed interest in bolstering the park's presence, and Macfarlane says the park needs all the friends it can get.
“It’s a beautiful park,” Macfarlane said, “and a great place to run into neighbors, kayak, and walk. But keeping out all the weeds takes a lot of work.”
Friends of Horan’s Landing are inviting the public to a clean-up day on Saturday, June 25 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
“We have plenty of work gloves,” Macfarlane says.
And to celebrate their hard work and draw attention to this local treasure, they’ve announced their first free family movie night for August 13, with a rain date of August 17. They’ll screen “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and encourage all residents to bring a picnic or a lawn chair, in time for viewing right after sundown.
Movie night at Horan’s Landing is sponsored by two Beekman Street restaurants, Bridgeview Tavern and Finalmente, and by Fuji Film in Hawthorne.
Situated right on the Hudson next to Ichabod’s Landing, the park was dedicated in December, 2000, a gift to the village by the condominium’s developers. There’s a kayak launch ramp, grassy slopes, walkways and benches for admiring the vista.
RiverWalk, adjacent to the park, curves along the northern side of the park, continuing in front of Ichabod’s Landing and providing spectacular views of the river, the Tappan Zee Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse.
But this gift to Sleepy Hollow requires more maintenance than the village can manage alone, especially in light of budget cuts.
“Every park should have a friends group,” village trustee Barbara Carr said.
Carr has served as a consultant to Macfarlane and Garlick, and helped out at this spring’s first work day, May 21st.
“She’s been marvelous,” Macfarlane says.
About a dozen residents turned out to help, using work gloves provided by Carr and the village. Most of their efforts were devoted to removing invasive mugwort.
Kingsland Point Park and Douglass Park have also held community work days this year, and David Bedell, chair of Sleepy Hollow’s Environmental Advisory Council is delighted.
But Bedell says it takes many days of work to keep that balance. “As important as volunteer days are, you can’t do everything in a single day. There’s work to be done throughout the year.”
“It’s great that these Ichabod’s Landing residents are coming together to permanently adopt Horan’s Landing,” Bedell said. “They can help improve biodiversity here on the shores of the Hudson by removing those invasive plants like mugwort and promoting the growth of native plants”
“There’s an interesting nexus between ecology and aesthetics.” Bedell adds. “Areas overwhelmed by invasive plants invariably look ugly compared with healthy areas. You don’t need to know plants to see that things are out of balance.”
That’s exactly what can be witnessed at Horan's Landing. Wildflowers, technically weeds, bloomed in some areas, near ornamental grasses which had been planted to blend and form a break between the housing units and the walkways.
Though the park is not as large or as heavily used as Kingland, those who have found it are quite loyal. Harry Shin says he walks his dogs there every day and enjoys the small pleasures the park attracts.
“It’s quiet,” he said.