October 2022 Update: Fall 2022 in-person field trips are completely booked. Request a virtual trip using the link above, or check back in early 2023 to register for the spring.
Field trips offer students the unique opportunity to visit sections of Freshkills Park that are currently closed to the public. Because it’s no longer a landfill but not yet a park, the land in these closed sections of Freshkills is a living classroom for students to learn about ecology, landscape transformation, New York City history, and sustainability.
How much does a field trip cost?
Field trips to Freshkills Park are free for public schools. Private schools are encouraged to make a donation of $200 per trip to the Freshkills Park Alliance. These donations support staff, materials, and access to the park. You can donate here.
When are field trips offered?
Field trips take place completely outdoors, and are offered during the fall (September-November) and spring (March-June). In the winter, we offer virtual field trips.
How do I request a tour?
To request a tour, fill out the Tour Request Form and a member of our team will be in touch within 1 week to schedule your visit. Tours must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance. Because we have limited availability, earlier is better! Email email@example.com with any questions. Service projects should be scheduled using this form.
What types of field trips are offered?
We offer several types of field trips. Please indicate on your Tour Request form which type you would prefer.
- Nature Walk: A 1-mile guided walk introducing students to wetland and grassland ecosystems and landfill infrastructure. Students will complete a scavenger hunt to learn about different plants and animals in the Park.
- Community Science (Middle and High School only): Students participate in a community science project by collecting and analyzing data about plants or insects at Freshkills Park to contribute to our grassland ecology research. If you choose this option, we will schedule a virtual program before the in-person tour to introduce students to Freshkills Park and the research project.
- Service Projects (Middle and High School only): Get your hands dirty and give back to the community with a volunteer project. Learn more about service projects.
How can students learn about Freshkills Park before or after their field trip?
Before your field trip, we will send you a vocabulary list and some suggested activities. You can use resources from the Freshkills Resource Bank to introduce students to Freshkills Park, or schedule a virtual field trip before the in-person trip. If you have a specific project you would like to do related to Freshkills Park, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do we get to Freshkills Park?
Transportation must be provided by your school and must stay on-site for the duration of the trip. Students cannot use public transportation to access the park at this time. Freshkills Park staff will meet your bus at 600 West Service Rd, Staten Island, NY 10314.
What should we bring?
Because of the elevation and wide open space, the temperature and wind and the park can be more extreme than in surrounding areas. Please prepare students accordingly. Be “tick aware” and wear long pants, close-toed shoes, and insect repellant, as well as clothes you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy. Also wear a hat and bring water and a snack. You will also need to bring signed waivers for all participants.
What if there is a chance of bad weather?
Field trips will be canceled in the case of inclement weather. If there is a 60% or higher chance of heavy rain, thunderstorms, lightning, extreme heat, or snow, we will cancel the trip by 5:00 p.m. the weekday before the trip.
Are there bathrooms, benches, or picnic areas?
Freshkills Park is in transition from landfill to park. At the moment, there are no benches or picnicking areas within closed sections of the Park. There is one bathroom located at the Visitor Center, halfway between the entrance and the main activity area. In order to make the most of your time at the Park, we recommend visitors use facilities elsewhere before embarking on their field trip.
Is there a good place to eat lunch?
School groups are not able to eat lunch in closed sections of Freshkills Park. However, many classes have chosen to eat lunch at Schmul Playground, where there are benches and a comfort station. Schmul Playground is a five minute drive from the exit of Freshkills Park. Upon request, your Freshkills Park educator can lead the group to Schmul at the conclusion of your trip.
Can I bring more than 30 students to the Park?
While we recognize that many teachers have large classes, we strive to preserve the interactive nature of field trips at Freshkills Park. If you would like to bring more than 30 students to Freshkills, we recommend splitting the students into two field trips. For example, if you want to bring 60 students, you may bring 30 students on the first field trip and 30 students on the second field trip.