Highlights from the June 4 Discovery Day

Despite overcast skies, 900 visitors traveled from all over New York City to visit Freshkills Park during the latest Discovery Day on June 4, 2017. Clouds silhouetted the skyline, creating captivating views from the park’s rolling hills. Steady but gentle winds provided perfect weather for kite flying. Throughout 700 acres, visitors biked, hiked, and birded while marveling at the landscape in normally closed sections of the park.

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As people made their way through the park, community partners contributed information about wildlife, ecology, and the Freshkills Park project. Nick Molinari from NYC Parks and Robin Geller from DSNY led informative tours about the landfill-to-park project, and NYC Audubon led birding tours where they spotted many birds including ospreys, a willow flycatcher, and an indigo bunting. Soil and geotextile samples from the landfill cap available at the Mobile Education Lab provided insight into the site’s transformation. Delicious food was available thanks to Ho’Brah Tacos and Uncle Louie G’s.

Artist Monique Welsh from Projectivity painted a new mural along the bridge spanning Main Creek. The bright blue background highlights four pink lotus flowers, and an inscription in black quotes Wendell Berry: “The Earth is the one thing we all have in common.” While the artist painted NYC Parks offered a variety of activities and information. Urban Park Rangers led raptor tours and introduced visitors to a live snake. The Wildlife Unit offered information about living with wildlife in New York City. The Mobile Recreation Van provided hula hoops, footballs, jump ropes, and games for kids and adults to play with.

Thanks to everyone who made Discovery Day possible, including New York Road Runners, our volunteers, NYC Parks and DSNY staff, and our sponsors Northwell Health, Pratt, the College of Staten Island, and Con Edison for their support.

The next Discovery Day will be held on October 1, 2017, and tours will be available throughout the summer. Check the calendar or sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch.

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