Hart Island is an island located just near City Island. The city purchased the island in 1868, used prior as a prison camp for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War and burials began in 1869. Recently this little known island has become a point of contention for the borough. NYC has used the Island for burials for over 1,000,000 of the city’s poor. The island is home to the largest public burial in the Unties States. Now you see the problem.
Council members are seeking to allow the Parks Department to take over the Island currently run by the Dept of Corrections. The plan would have greater access for the public and to beautify the island. Even the Mayor is on board with the project. Up until now only family members of the deceased can visit on a ferry that runs only twice per month.
Some see this as the ultimate betrayal to the city’s poor, while others welcome the chance for more much-needed public green space. What are your thoughts on the potential new park? Have you been Hart Island?