Groundbreaking starts new era for Davids Island in New Rochelle

A groundbreaking ceremony in New Rochelle Thursday will signify a new beginning for Davids Island, a 78-acre island that has been abandoned for four decades.

An Army Corp of Engineers cleanup project will begin to transform the island into a county park. The land was once home to Siwanoy Indians and then settlers from France before Fort Slocum was built on the site. The Army base closed in the 1960s.

Before any structures can be removed ? there are 90 decaying buildings on the site ? the land must be checked for any archaeological objects with historical significance. After that, the cleanup project estimated at $20 million can begin.

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