Davis Park, New York
Davis Park is a hamlet on Fire Island in the Town of Brookhaven in Suffolk County, in the U.S. state of New York, off the South Shore village of Patchogue, Long Island. It lies within the Fire Island National Seashore. Davis Park is commonly used to refer to the business and public part of the community on both sides of Trustees' Walk, in contrast to the sections known as Leja Beach (to the west of Trustees Walk bounding Center Walk to the North and South) and Ocean Ridge (to the east). However, Davis Park is also used to refer to all three areas together, which are contiguous, share services and social life, and are separated from other communities on the island.
Davis Park Dockmaster Tower, Ferry Port and Marina
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Davis Park/Leja Beach/Ocean Ridge is the eastern-most private community on Fire Island. (Formerly, there were other communities to the east that were removed by the National Park Service after the creation of Fire Island National Seashore in 1964. They included Bayberry Dunes, Whalehouse Point and Long Cove.)
The community extends along approximately 3/4 mile (1.25 km) of beachfront, and is approximately 330 yards (0.3 km) wide at its widest and 190 yards (0.17 km) wide at its narrowest point (dune to bay, excluding ocean beach width). Davis Park is bordered by extensive wilderness areas to both east and west. The Watch Hill facility of the National Park Service (with a small marina, restaurant, campground, nature trail and seasonal tours and activities) is approximately 1/2 mile (0.8 km) east, and Water Island (a community, not a separate island) is approximately one mile (1.6 km) to the west. Davis Park lies approximately 13.9 miles (22.3 km) from the eastern end of Fire Island at Moriches Inlet and 16.3 miles (26.3 km) from the western end of Fire Island at Democrat Point (in Robert Moses State Park).
The United States Post Office at Davis Park (open July and August only) lies at approximately 40°41'04"N, 73°00'15"W.
Davis Park has approximately 350 homes (130 in Ocean Ridge and 220 in Davis Park), one general store and grill, one restaurant and one bar. The restaurant and bar are the only ones on Fire Island with a clear view of the bay and the ocean. There is one unpaved road, commonly called the Burma Road, and wooden boardwalks. There are no cars (except for emergency, utility and construction vehicles and a very limited number of private vehicles, which are only allowed through a strict permit process regulated by the National Park Service). There are no street lights except in the marina area, resulting in fine night time star-gazing. There are a Town of Brookhaven public marina, a (seasonally) lifeguarded section of beach and public restrooms and showers.
Davis Park is protected by the all-volunteer Davis Park Fire Department and by Suffolk County Police. The non-for-profit Davis Park Medical Association owns a house, "Bedside Manor," on the dune in Ocean Ridge, which is rented in season to doctors and nurse practitioners at a below-market rate in exchange for their agreement to provide basic medical services through scheduled office hours and on-call availability. Bedside Manor is equipped with basic medical equipment and supplies. A helipad provides emergency evacuation capability.
Fire Island is said to be the only significant barrier island in the United States without paved roads and automobiles. Its all-sand beaches, like other beaches in the State of New York, are public.
Davis Park was founded by Michael Stephani and Kevin Gray.
2009 Beach RenourishmentEdit
In the winter and spring of 2009, a beach renourishment project was undertaken on Fire Island, with the cooperation of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Towns of Brookhaven and Islip and Fire Island residents. The renourishment program involved dredging sand from an offshore borrow area, pumping it onto the beach and shaping the sand into an approved beach face and dune template in front of the communities of Davis Park, Corneille Estates, Dunewood, Fair Harbor, Fire Island Pines, Fire Island Summer Club, Lonelyville, Ocean Bay Park, Ocean Beach, Saltaire, and Seaview. Fire Islanders agreed to a significant property tax increase to help pay for the project, which was estimated to cost between $23 and $25 million, including the cost of environmental monitoring, and was expected to add 1.8 million cubic yards of sand in front of the participating communities. The Towns of Brookhaven and Islip, in which the communities are located, issued bonds to pay for the project, backed by the new taxes levied by community Erosion Control Taxing Districts. Fire Island has been named by the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association a winner of its 2009 Best Restored Beach award.
In November 2009, the remnants of Hurricane Ida, by then nicknamed the "nor' Ida," did substantial damage to the beachfront in Davis Park, carrying away much of the sand of the previous spring's beach renourishment project. New York Governor David A. Paterson asked President Barack Obama to declare a major federal disaster for the counties of Nassau, Queens and Suffolk (including Fire Island) for the severe erosion and damage to the protective barrier beaches.
- There is a single store near the Davis Park marina and a restaurant known as the "Casino Cafe" which is one of the few oceanfront restaurants on the entire island.
- There used to be a baseball field, but a helipad was built on top of it a few years ago.
- Davis Park has one of the largest marinas on Fire Island; it can hold up to 250 boats.