PENNSAUKEN, NJ (CBS) — Petty’s Island, in the middle of the Delaware River, could be our area’s Central Park in a few years. That is, assuming a plan to clean it up and turn it over to a public land trust proceeds on schedule.
There have been many owners, and more than a few controversies over what to do with the 400 acre parcel just off Pennsauken.
Citgo, the Venezuelan-owned oil company, currently owns it. They have agreed to give the island to the New Jersey Natural Lands Trust, and put up 3 million dollars towards its new mission. But trust Board Chairman Michael Catania says a couple things have to happen first.
Catania told KYW Newsradio, “When the Crowley Marine Terminal finishes their operations and moves out, which is going to start happening this December and when Citgo finishes the cleanup under their consent order with DEP and the island has been determined by DEP to clean, then it’ll be turned over to the trust and it’ll become an urban nature preserve.”
It’s thought that’ll happen no later than 2021. The trust will be raising money to turn one of the buildings now on site into a nature center, but not until they put in some new trails.
“The island will be pretty much ready to go as soon as we take title to it,” Catania added. “We won’t have the nature center functioning yet, but it will be largely restored by the time we take title.”
A bridge now connecting the island to Pennsauken will be used to shuttle visitors to Petty’s Island once it opens to the public.