Entering High Rock Park: A Tribute to Gretta Moulton
by Dorothy Reilly
The Gretta Moulton gate marks the entrance to High Rock Park, cornerstone of the Greenbelt. The double-sided gate, anchored by stone pillars on either side, was dedicated to Mrs. Moulton in 1994, some 30 years after she rallied citizens and politicians to save High Rock Park from pending development. The story about saving High Rock’s nearly 300 hundred acres of hilltop forest has its complexities, but Gretta Moulton was there for every turn of event. She was passionate about protecting the girl scout camp that High Rock was from residential development and she convinced many influential people to share her vision and join the cause.
The black steel gates reach up to seven feet and display a motif of indigenous animals and plants. Bradford Greene, landscape architect and Gretta’s friend, designed the imposing gates, which were fabricated with the assistance of Rampulla Associates Architects. The stunning entranceway received the prestigious Design Award from the New York City Art Commission. This fitting memorial to Gretta Moulton was made possible with contributions from a fund established in her name and augmented with monies from the Greenbelt Conservancy.
Thousands of visitors pass through the Gretta Moulton gate each year seeking a quiet place to relax and learn about Staten Island’s natural side. We all owe that privilege to Gretta, the visionary who saved High Rock Park.