Freshkills Park Blog

Project Development Coordinator: Karl Vetter

Karl Vetter is the Project Development Coordinator for Freshkills Park.  A native of the Bronx, he has been highly involved in urban greenspaces as a Central Park volunteer, an intern in a Hydroponic greenhouse in Newark, an Americorps Coordinator with the New York Restoration Project, and a seasonal staff member of Partnerships for Parks.

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A Look Back On Fall 2019

It was yet another busy fall at Freshkills Park this year, with a number of park developments, programs, and events serving as a reminder of the radical transformation that continues to occur at what was once the world’s largest landfill.

Discovery Day

On September 15th, over one thousand visitors flocked to Freshkills for its annual Discovery Day, in which several hundred acres were open for hands-on arts and STEM activities, kite-flying, biking, and free exploration.

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Artist Sophie Friedman-Pappas Transforms Waste at Freshkills Park

Since its inception, the Freshkills Park team has fostered partnerships with artists from a variety of disciplines in an effort to document this preliminary phase of park development through creative expression. Over time, a number of works have emerged, ranging from ink studies produced within the confines of an old shipping container to bound notebooks created from the park’s ubiquitous invasive Phragmites plant.

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Fourth Year of Bird Banding Reveals New Species

Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship

This summer, researchers from College of Staten Island completed their fourth year of Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) bird banding at Freshkills Park. MAPS is a collaborative, continent-wide research effort coordinated by the Institute for Bird Populations, with over 1,200 participant banding stations.

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Soil Moisture Research Provides Insight into Grassland Bird Preferences

This summer, Freshkills staff and interns conducted fieldwork to assess the levels of moisture in the grassland soil on North and East Mounds. This research is part of an ongoing project to characterize the differences between the grasslands within Freshkills Park.

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Fish Monitoring Seining Program Continues in 2019

Throughout August, Freshkills Park researchers have been monitoring the diversity of fish species in the park’s Main Creek. This research has been ongoing since 2016 as a means of staying up to date on the health and quality of the aquatic ecosystems at the park.

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Discovery Day 2019 Recap

With temperatures climbing into the 80s this weekend, over one thousand visitors flocked to Freshkills Park for a warm edition of Discovery Day, a chance to experience the world’s largest landfill-to-park project as it continues to undergo development. Though the park is normally closed, events such as Discovery Day give visitors a chance to see what this former waste dump now has to offer in the way of passive and active recreation, wildlife habitat, and innovative engineering.

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New Ventures Charter School Begins Semester at Freshkills Park

 

This week marks the beginning of a new collaboration between Freshkills Park and New Ventures Charter School. For the next twelve weeks, students from New Ventures will report to Freshkills Park four days per week, two and a half hours per day, for environmental science lessons, hands-on fieldwork projects, art activities, and other curricula that tie into their graduation requirements.

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Discovery Day September 15th Schedule

Freshkills Park will offer a Discovery Day on Sunday, September 15. This free event is a chance to explore normally closed areas of the park and experience the landscape and views the landfill-to-park project has to offer. Hundreds of acres and and miles of trails will be open for a day of bicycling, tours, and activities for all ages.

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New Videos Introduce Visitors to Freshkills Park

Osprey

Are you new to Freshkills Park and want to learn a little bit more about the exciting changes occurring at what was once the world’s largest landfill? Freshkills Park is excited to announce the release of new videos that introduce newcomers to the park in three themes: “Welcome”, “Freshkills Park Science and Research Program”, and “Landfill Infrastructure at Freshkills Park”.

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Fastnet: Plein-Air Drawing Exhibition Brings Freshkills Park to Central Park Gallery

Fastnet: Plein-Air Drawing at Freshkills Park is an exhibition of plein-air drawings and ink studies of Freshkills Park that were produced through a series of workshops held within a 20-foot shipping container called Fastnet. The exhibition will be on display at the Arsenal Galley in Central Park from September 13th – November 14th. 

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Freshkills Park Visits the Staten Island Museum

This summer, Freshkills Park played an active role in children’s programming at the Staten Island Museum. Over the course of three workshops, Freshkills Park education staff taught a number of topics ranging from invasive species to plant identification and led arts activities incorporating the natural environment.

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Discovery Day: September 15, 2019

Discovery Day

Discover Freshkills Park and experience the unique landscape and spectacular views the landfill-to-park project has to offer. This free event is a special opportunity to explore the future park while the site is closed to the public. Hundreds of acres and miles of trails will be open for tours, bicycling, and activities for all ages.

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Red Fox Monitoring Project at Freshkills Park

The red fox, one of Staten Island’s rarest and most elusive mammals, is now living in what was once the world’s largest landfill. Prompted by occasional sightings, our science team has set up specially designed motion sensor cameras to capture any movement of wildlife within Freshkills Park.

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Startup to Address America’s Waste Problems by ‘Bringing Back the Milkman’

In May of 2019 the recycling giant, Terracycle, launched Loop: a subsidiary with the goal of reducing household waste by ‘bringing back the milkman’. They aren’t just stopping at milk either. Through Loop, subscribers can receive totes of household items ranging from toothpaste and laundry detergent, to salad dressings and Haagen-Dazs ice cream: all packaged in aesthetically-pleasing reusable containers.

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Interview with NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver on Resiliency, Equity, Transformation, and Freshkills Park

Commissioner Silver

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to join all of the NYC Parks summer interns and listen to Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver speak on the history and the exciting future of New York City parks. He talked about several initiatives including increasing park-neighborhood connectivity through Parks Without Borders, refreshing city pools through Cool Pools, and giving underserved communities the renovated parks they deserve through the Community Parks Initiative.

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Art Program Intern: Christian Prince

Christian Prince is the Freshkills Park Art Program Intern for the summer of 2019. He is from Washington, DC and graduated from Vassar College.

What are you working on, and why do you think it’s interesting/important?

I’m assisting in the development of arts programs including installations in the park and working on materials for exhibitions at the Studio + Gallery.

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Pollinators at Freshkills Park

Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats are just a few examples of the animals that we call pollinators and that we rely on for approximately one third of our food supply and 90% of our world’s flowering plants. When visiting plants for food or shelter, pollinators attract pollen – often in fascinating ways – to themselves and later deposit it on the tops of flowers of the same species, thereby allowing for the creation of new seeds and reproduction.

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Climate Change Intern: Damaris Borden

Damaris Borden is Freshkills Park’s Climate Change Intern for the summer of 2019. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, she is passionate about improving people’s access to nature and its therapeutic effects. She is a rising senior at Bard College where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Environmental and Urban Studies with a focus in economics, policy, and development, as well as a master’s degree in Climate Science and Policy.

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Freshkills Park Past, Present, and Future: Seeking Local Perspectives

Freshkills Park is a story of environmental reclamation, the impacts of which reach far beyond the park’s boundaries. In reclaiming the land once occupied by the world’s largest landfill for forests, wetlands, and new grasslands, Staten Islanders at large have reclaimed their fresh air, scenic views, and recreation opportunities.

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