Freshkills Park Blog

Biodiversity in the City

BioBlitz

When you think about the most biodiverse places in the world, where do you think about? Maybe the Amazon rainforest or Madagascar? Many are surprised to find out that New York City lies within one of the world’s 36 biodiversity hotspots (the North American Coastal Plain), as defined by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund, a global program focused on providing funding for projects aimed at protecting these areas of extreme biodiversity.

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DIY Plant Press

They say that April showers bring May flowers, and that’s certainly on full display during walks through the park in late spring and early summer. Nature is bursting with colorful flowers, sweet smells, and new leaves. At Freshkills Park, the grasslands are full of purple Cow Vetch, yellow Birdsfoot Trefoil, blue-green Little Bluestem.

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The Magic School Bus Takes the Coast

New York City Parks encompass more than 300,000 acres of land, about 14% of the city.  These parks and open spaces include many restored wetlands that are open to the public.  Some examples include Bush Terminal Park in Brooklyn, Brookfield Park in Staten Island, Swindler Cove in Manhattan, and Soundview Park in the Bronx.

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Freshkills Champions Bicycling

While NYC is on PAUSE, New Yorkers are turning to biking as a safe mode of transportation and exercise. Biking provides an opportunity to immerse oneself in nature while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

As Freshkills Park opens its 2200 acres in phases, bike-friendly infrastructure and programming are central.

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Greenway Bingo

Open Hours

Happy National Bike Month!

To celebrate biking in May, we created this Bingo board to document the plants, birds, and people that you may see while biking along the New Springville Greenway or your favorite local park. Click here for a printable version.

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Biking Through The Ages Playlist

Discovery Day

A virtual ride down memory lane!

It’s National Bike Month and even if we are on lockdown, biking is a great way to enjoy outdoor time, get some exercise and lift our spirits.  If you want to get a little more competitive, join the National Bike Challenge and log your miles at https://www.lovetoride.net/usa

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Osprey Monitoring at Freshkills Park

 

Each Spring many migrant birds can be seen at Freshkills Park, either returning to spend the warmer months with us, or traveling through to locations further north. One of these returning species is the Osprey (Pandion halibuts). Although a common species today that is growing in numbers, Ospreys faced dramatic population declines in the 1950s and 60s due to the usage of the pesticide DDT.

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Love Animals? Observe With an Ethogram

Have you ever wondered why animals act a certain way? At Freshkills Park, researchers use ethograms to learn more about animals like osprey. In this week’s STEAM @ Home challenge, learn more about your pet, neighborhood birds, or even a mosquito through observing and recording their behavior with an ethogram.

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Fly Away Home Goes the Distance

This week, Freshkills Park joins ornithologists and bird watchers to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). World Migratory Bird Day is the brainchild of three major global bird conservation organizations. Not all birds migrate at the same time of year, so the date varies by hemisphere.

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“The Dirt” on Soil at North Park Phase 1

The construction at North Park Phase 1 requires the import of about 100,000 cubic yards of soil. About half of that material, referred to as “general fill”, will be used to cover the existing soil and create new topography for the park paths, picnic areas, seed farm and planted areas. 

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Soil Sampling: STEAM @ Home Challenge



Soil is a complex, living ecosystem, full of microorganisms, fungi, worms, insects, bacteria, and nutrients, as we learned by watching Dirt! The Movie. Today, we will learn more about how researchers study soil in Freshkills Park and beyond.

Watch this video to learn about soil sampling and invent a device to take a core sample using things you have at home!  

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The Dirt on Dirt! The Movie

Over the past few weeks, we have explored the importance of pollinators and native grasses. For these species to succeed up top, quality soil needs to exist below. To help bring the outside in and get our virtual hands dirty, our FreshFlick of the week is Dirt!

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Take Flight with Grassland Pollinators

How many pollinators can you name? Honeybees are the world’s most famous pollinators, but they’re not the only ones. Pollinators include insects, birds, bats, and even some reptiles. Some pollinators are generalists, meaning they will pollinate all plants, while others only pollinate specific species.

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Seed Send-Off

Can plants move? Plants can’t walk, but they have to “move” to reproduce and find successful habitat for growth. Pollinators, like Barry in Bee Movie, help plants reproduce by carrying pollen from one plant to another. Seeds have evolved structures similar to parachutes, helicopters, and fasteners to move across their habitats.

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What’s the Buzz on Bee movie

All life is supported by pollinators. Pollinators are essential for plant reproduction because they move pollen from one part of the plant to another which helps the plant produce seeds. Bees are one of the most well-known pollinators on the planet, but flies, butterflies, bats, and birds also play an important role in plant reproduction.  

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Freshkills Grasslands: Good for the Birds, Good for the Climate

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, we are thinking about climate change and what we can do to alter its course and mitigate its impacts. One surprising result of the current Covid-19 pandemic is that we are seeing some of the changes that can happen relatively quickly from a drastic reduction in our carbon emissions.

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Waste Less, Green More at Home for Earth Day

Today, April 22, 2020, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Millions around the world are mobilizing to address the climate crisis. In addition to supporting policies to reduce carbon emissions, we can take small actions at home to live more sustainably.

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A Troll in Central Park. Rated G for Green

This Wednesday, April 22, marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The first Earth Day, organized in 1970, responded to the increased recognition of the dangers of  pollution and limited environmental protections. Millions of Americans protested and took action for the planet.

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Trash Reimagined: 5 Down-to-Earth Upcycling Artists

Single-use plastic was introduced soon after the Fresh Kills landfill opened in the 1940s. Instead of reducing or reusing, Americans began to love the ease of just throwing things away. No need to wash the dishes- just toss them! The increase in disposable items and the accompanying rise of “throwaway culture” was one factor that led to the Fresh Kills Landfill’s growth.

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Hear The Wind with Upcycling

Spring is in the air. At Freshkills Park that usually means the beginning of spring field trips and tours, but because we are social distancing, we’re bringing some of our favorite projects to you at home. Earlier this week Ariel from The Little Mermaid inspired us to decorate with things she scavenged.  

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