Tags: sustainability

New 1.5°C Plan Aligns NYC with the Paris Climate Agreement

In 2016, nearly every country signed the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement requires all participating countries to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Two degrees might not seem like a lot, but according to NASA it’s probably the tipping point for widespread ecological problems caused by climate change.

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On Board Swale, a Floating Food Forest

Mary Mattingly’s Rendering of Swale


Written by Savannah Lust, Freshkills Park Development Intern.

Bok choy and mint are ripe for the picking aboard Swale, Mary Mattingly’s floating food forest project that is docked at Yankee Pier on Governor’s Island until September 15th.

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Restoring Natural Habitats, One Goat at a Time

Goat at Freshkills Park, 2012.

As invasive species become a greater problem and harder to deal with, New Yorkers are looking to more creative solutions to control their presence. Parks in the area incorporate a wide array of methods to control invasives including manual removal, pesticides and even controlled burnings.

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Waste Diversion in New York City

Arturo Romua leads an activity during a walking tour at Freshkills Park.

As Freshkills Park develops from the world’s largest landfill into a sustainable urban park, New York City is working towards sending zero waste to landfills by the year 2030.

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Students Take a Stand against Plastic Bags after Visiting Freshkills Park

 

On February 9th, students at James Madison High School built a chain of plastic bags around the school building in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. The project was meant to raise awareness about excessive use of the material and its harmful impact on the environment.

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Close to Foam

At around 95% air, Expanded Polystyrene foam (EPS) is incredibly buoyant, which is why it was used by the U.S. Coast Guard to build a six-person life raft in 1942.

EPS, commonly known as Styrofoam, has since floated into everyday life, with people using billions of foam cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, trays, and packing peanuts every year.

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Farther Afield: Seattle Bans Food Waste

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) has recently added a $1 fine for having more than 10% of a household’s trash composed of food waste. Passed on January 1, 2015, this comes as the next step in Seattle’s attempt to remove compostable materials from ending up in landfills, following the city’s previous 2005 ban on recyclable materials under a similar $1 fine program and the encouragement of residents to compost via SPU-provided compost bins.

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Farther Afield: Green Waves on the Streets

Street lighting adds urban character and keeps our streets safe. However, the environmental and economic impacts are remarkable and cost some cities millions of dollars per year to keep street lights on. To avoid drastically restructuring a municipality’s energy-producing infrastructure, innovative designs are under development across the globe to illuminate roadways and walkways, and achieve more efficient traffic flow.

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Farther Afield: NYC Curbside Gardens

Well known to city dwellers, the urban landscape is dominated by impervious hard surfaces that require manmade sewage infrastructure to handle all rainfall and storm water management. In normally functioning environments, soil and vegetation absorbs this water and retains it to a certain capacity before runoff is generated.

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SF Bans Bottled Water on City Property


The City of San Francisco recently announced that it would ban the sale of bottled water in containers less than 21 oz on city property. San Francisco will be the first major city in the US to enact such a ban, though Concord, Massachusetts and Grand Canyon National Park have already replaced bottled water with water bottle filling stations.

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A Campfire That Can Light up Your Christmas Tree

Imagine warming your hands at a campfire that is also lighting up a Christmas tree in DUMBO.

What’s going on here?

Have you ever felt a regular light bulb after it has been on for a while? It’s hot because a side effect of using electricity is that some of the energy is wasted as heat.

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Gowanus Canal Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its cleanup plan for Gowanus Canal. The Brooklyn Canal, bound by Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, was declared a Superfund site in 2010 and communities have long been pushing for its cleanup.

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Sneak Peak 2013

 

On September 29th, Freshkills Park opened its gates to the public for the fourth annual Sneak Peak event and attracted 3,500 people, a steady increase from previous years.

They came on bikes, on ferries, and in cars; with family, with friends.

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Highlighting another Sustainable Park: Bush Terminal Pier Park, Brooklyn

The view of Manhattan from Bush Terminal Pier Park. (Source: Will Ellis, AbandonedNYC)

Bush Terminal Piers Park is slated to open this October, the new waterfront park is located between 43rd to 51st Streets in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.  Sandwiched between modernized industrial parcels along the waterfront, the park was designed by AECOM.

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Composting Toilets in New York City

Prospect Park is building a composting toilet and putting to use an obsolete building. The Pump House, an unused building tucked away in the center of the park, is not connected to the New York City sewer system so traditional restrooms are not possible but with park use on the rise more restroom facilities are needed, especially in this more remote area of the park.

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The First Solar Carport in New York City Comes to Staten Island

Solar power is a growing energy source on Staten Island.  Freshkills Park, already an alternative energy source from the methane harvested at the site, will be using solar power for many of its structures in the future.  But the future is here at an office building on Edward Curry Avenue in Bloomfield in the form of solar panels that provide shade for your parked car. 

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Fifth Annual Haiku Contest

Freshkills Park CELEBRATES National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month which means it is time for the fifth annual Freshkills Park Haiku Contest!  We will be celebrating by asking you to share your impressions, experiences, thoughts and ideas of what Freshkills Park is, will be, and what it means to you- in haiku form.

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Highlighting another Sustainable Park: Canal Park, Washington DC

Canal Park on Opening Day (November 2012)

Canal Park in Washington DC, situated between the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, was originally a canal before it was paved over in the early 1900’s for a multitude of uses, including use as a lot for idling buses.

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New York City Ranked in Top 10 Best US Cities for Urban Forests

image source: American Forests

The conservation group American Forests has just released a ranking of the top 10 best U.S. cities for urban forests, and New York City made the list! After an independent collection of data on the 50 most populous American cities, a panel of technical advisors from the U.S.

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Schmul Park is open!

Children from P.S. 26 on Staten Island enjoy the new playground equipment

Schmul Park was officially opened yesterday. This reconstructed neighborhood park is the first portion of Freshkills Park to open to the public. The reconstructed Schmul Park now features a colorful playground, new handball and basketball courts, a grass lawn, and a modern comfort station.

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