Brookhaven Town officials have agreed to purchase a former horse racing track in Port Jefferson Station and preserve it as open space.
The 5.75-acre parcel had been part of the Gentlemen's Driving Park, one of the last remaining examples of horse racing tracks that once had been common throughout Long Island, town officials said. The town agreed to buy the land for $1.18 million from its owners, the Estevez family, officials said.
The purchase joins 5.1 acres from the park that the town had bought in 2011 and 2013. Town officials plan to use the land as a passive park with hiking and walking paths.
Councilwoman Valerie Cartright, who represents the community, said the park "is an important part of the town's history. The purchase of these parcels allows us to preserve both open space and a window into the past."
Gentlemen's Park was founded about 1880 and horse races took place there until about 1946, town officials said.
"Gentlemen's Park is a nostalgic reminder of a bygone era in Brookhaven, and it's important that we preserve it," Town Supervisor Edward P. Romaine said. "There is not much more open space in this area of the town, so we need to save what's left for our residents to enjoy."