Freshkills Park Blog

“Capturing Change” Photographs On View at Studio + Gallery

Capturing Change Photography Exhibition

Capturing Change: Freshkills Park Photographs

On view June 15 – September 8, 2019

For years, photographers have been visiting closed sections of Freshkills Park to document the unique combination of nature and infrastructure. Their work explores the variety of changes taking place as habitats are established and the park is built in phases over decades.

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Your Guide to the Open Hours Event on June 30

Open Hours June 30

On Sunday June 30th, you can bike, run, walk, or birdwatch in normally closed areas of Freshkills Park! Open Hours will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., with over six miles of roadways and trails providing access to views of wildlife, wetland creeks, and engineered meadows.

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Fastnet Offers Drawing Workshops Inside a Shipping Container

Fastnet

This year, artists are leading drawing workshops inside a shipping container at Freshkills Park. Fastnet was purchased by artist James Powers in 2015. Since then, it has been used as a gallery, sauna, and gathering space. At Freshkills Park, Fastnet is fitted with drawing horses for free observational drawing workshops, available for the general public!

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Battery Project Encourages Reusing and Recycling

Arihunt and Avni Garg

In 2016, Arihunt and Avni Garg participated in a tour of Freshkills Park and learned about waste management in New York City. “Although the Sanitation and Parks Departments were working very hard, it seemed to be an uphill battle to keep our city clean,” said Avni, a freshman at Stuyvesant High School.

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Grassland Research Continues for Fourth Year

Grassland Research

This spring, staff and interns will continue studying the grasslands at Freshkills Park. The research project is working to characterize the structure and diversity of the grasslands on two of the capped landfill mounds. Large populations of grassland birds have been nesting at East Mound, but not North Mound.

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Visiting Freshkills Park this Spring and Summer

We’re excited to announce this year’s spring and summer calendar of public programs at Freshkills Park! These free tours and events offer unique opportunities to visit and learn about the landfill-to-park project. Whether kayaking through the creeks or hiking and bicycling along miles of meadows, you’ll experience large sections of the park before they open.

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Summer 2019 Internships

Internships

The Freshkills Park Team is looking for a Development Intern, Climate Change Research Intern, Public Art Intern, and Education Intern to join the staff at the project’s lower Manhattan headquarters this summer. These four part-time positions will involve site visits and provide opportunities to collaboratively contribute to ongoing park planning and project implementation.

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The Last Barge to Fresh Kills Landfill

Last Barge

This month marks the anniversary of the Fresh Kills Landfill closing in 2001. The last barge of municipal solid waste arrived on March 22, 2001, 53 years after landfill operations began. Over the years, Fresh Kills had steadily become New York City’s primary landfill.

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Panel Explores Nature Within the Built Environment

Green Roof

This month, Freshkills Park’s Cait Field and Mariel Villeré presented the panel, “Urban Ecosystem Services: Scales of Cultivation” at the Nature, Ecology & Society Colloquium at the CUNY Graduate Center, with speakers Annie Weinmayr, Jessica Hoch, and Melissa Zavala. The panel explored variations on the definition of “nature” within the built environment and how expanding that definition can shape new strategies for enhancing ecosystem services in our cities.

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Announcing the Capturing Change Photography Contest Winners

Capturing Change Sean Sweeney

We are excited to announce the winners of the first annual Capturing Change Photography Contest! Dozens of photographers submitted more than 100 photographs, and contest judge Natalie Conn was impressed by the variety and complexity of the images. Conn reviewed the photographs anonymously and evaluated them based on creativity, composition, content, and artistic merit.

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Freshkills Park Named 2019 Rubin Foundation Art and Social Justice Grantee

Lize Mogel

Freshkills Park’s ongoing Field R/D project has been named one of fifty-seven awardees of the Rubin Foundation’s grants as part of their Art and Social Justice Initiative. Three artists have been selected to participate in the second cohort to co-develop research-based projects in the visual, performing, and media-based arts.

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Family-Friendly Nature Walks

Family Nature Walk

This spring, families can lace up their shoes and join staff for nature walks at Freshkills Park! These walks will take participants behind the scenes to visit areas that are currently closed to the public. On these one-mile walks, visitors will observe and learn about the plants and wildlife found in the woods, wetlands, and grasslands.

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Wetland Restoration at Freshkills Park

Wetland Restoration

The Fresh Kills site was once a network of waterways with acres of tidal wetlands. When the Fresh Kills Landfill opened in 1948, people did not realize the ecological value of this habitat. Now NYC Parks is transforming the former landfill into Freshkills Park.

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Fresh Kills Landfill Closed in 2001, but Large Landfills Still Loom

Fresh Kills Landfill

Before closing almost two decades ago, Fresh Kills Landfill was known as the largest landfill in the world. During peak operations in the 1980s, Fresh Kills received as much as 29,000 tons of trash per day. By 1991 it was the last remaining landfill in New York City, accepting household trash from all five boroughs.

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Call for Submissions: Capturing Change Photography Contest

Photo Contest

If you photographed Freshkills Park in 2018, you’re invited to submit your work to the first annual Capturing Change Photography Contest. We’re looking for photographs that illustrate Freshkills Park’s unique engineered landscape from all angles. Submissions will be accepted from January 3, 2019 to February 14, 2019, with winners announced in early March.

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As Birds Face Threats from Climate Change, Freshkills Park Could Be a Refuge

Climate Change

Dr. Richard Veit first saw grasshopper sparrows nesting at Freshkills Park in 2015. This was a surprising discovery for Veit, a College of Staten Island researcher who has been studying the site’s grassland bird populations for decades. According to the Breeding Bird Survey, grasshopper sparrow populations have declined by 97% in New York State.

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Read “Reorientation,” the Urban Wild Writer Essay

Urban Wild Essay

This summer, the inaugural Urban Omnibus writer in residence, Dani Alexander, had the opportunity to roam the future Freshkills Park’s four mounds. By foot and by car, under beating sun and pouring rain, Alexander explored the urban wilds of Staten Island, where highways meet gas wells, herons, and kayakers.

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Counter-Cartography at Freshkills Park with Lize Mogel

Lize Mogel

On November 18, Field R/D artist Lize Mogel led two bus tours of the park project. The tours expanded and resituated the typical park tour by offering an artist/ “counter-cartographer’s” perspective. Joined by guides Dr. Cait Field, the Freshkills Park Manager for Science and Research Development, and Mariel Villere, Manager for Programs, Arts and Grants and co-organizer of Field R/D, Lize’s tour explored the landfill-to-park project within a longer trajectory of a changing urban environment.

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Interview with Field R/D Co-Curator Dylan Gauthier

Field RD

Dylan Gauthier co-curates Freshkills Park’s Field R/D residency program with Manager for Programs, Arts, and Grants Mariel Villeré. For the past decade or so, Gauthier has been making environmental work around water, including his collective Mare Liberum and What Wilderness, focused on the EPA Superfund designated Newtown Creek.

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Your Gift Makes More Park Visits Possible

Your Gift Makes More Park Visits Possible

This year almost 1,000 visitors explored Freshkills Park by bicycle. They rode the four mile loop road around East Park, saw the beautiful grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands, and experienced a Montana-like sky in New York City. Thanks to supporters like you, the Freshkills Park Alliance provides free bikes during events so that everyone has access to these unique opportunities.

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