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State seeks healthy food options at Sunken Meadow State Park

Sunken Meadow State Park on Aug. 13, 2015.

Sunken Meadow State Park on Aug. 13, 2015. Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

Healthier choices may soon be on the menu at Sunken Meadow State Park.

A request for proposals has been issued by the state parks department for the main and east concessions, the west pavilion and the golf course bar and café. This summer, Jones Beach, Wildwood, Montauk Point, Hither Hills and Orient Beach all got new food vendors, and the parks department’s requirements for Sunken Meadow place the same emphasis on adding healthy foods.

“That is a push that this agency has been following with regard to all food and beverage concession contracts; we want them to offer the public healthy options — and the public wants healthy options,” said George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director of the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Traditionalists, fear not. “There’ll also be the standard park fare, hot dogs, hamburgers and French fries,” he said.

Sunken Meadow, in Kings Park, already has undergone some major sprucing up. The renovation of the Main Bathhouse should finish this autumn.

Already completed are upgrades to the playgrounds at Fields 1 and 4 and the first phase of a golf course overhaul that added a new pond and improved the watering system.

The parks department adjusted the terms for the new 10-year contract for Sunken Meadow, including adding a $15,000 annual fee to reimburse it for extra staff needed for special events.

Would-be vendors have until Oct. 26 to submit proposals.

The current concessionaire, Lessings, has pleased park officials with popular offerings. “Lessings has done a great job in expanding the West Pavilion to encourage additional events, such as wedding receptions,” Gorman said.

About 2.5 million people visited the park last year. This year, through July 31, visitation was 1.55 million.

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