Discovery Week @ Home

Jun 21, 2020 12:00am

Whether you are near or far, join the first “Discovery Week @ Home” from June 22-26.  Discover Freshkills Park and experience the unique landscape and spectacular views the landfill-to-park project has to offer, from home!

This year Freshkills Park has taken Discovery Day virtual and is excited to host activities and experiences created by the Freshkills Park team and community partners. Throughout the week, learn more about the history, wildlife, recreation, education, and art at the park through virtual experiences.

All activities and performances are completely free! As the week goes on, all Virtual Discovery Week content will be posted to our social media channels and website for easy access.

About Freshkills Park

After serving as NYC’s landfill for over fifty years, the Freshkills Park site is now one of the most important environmental habitats in the city. With capping and protective systems, the closed landfill has become a new engineered landscape. Wildlife are already responding to the environmental changes. Birds, fish and mammals are thriving in the creeks and grasslands. As the park is built in phases, free tours and events have provided early access for learning and exploration.  In person tours and events will resume when it is safe to do so.  In the meantime, join us for a virtual experience of the transformation!


Monday 6/22: Landfill-to-Park

At 2,200 acres, Freshkills Park is almost three times the size of Central Park and the largest park to be developed in New York City in over 100 years.   Join us on a walk up North Mound and learn about the Freshkills Landfill-to-Park transformation.  Take a special tour of the construction at North Park Phase 1.  See the progress on building the arc path, the connection to Schmul Park, and the foundations of the bird tower and the wetland observation deck and learn more about what the construction entails.  We are also hosting a tour of the landfill leachate treatment plant. Learn what leachate is and how it is collected and treated at the former Fresh Kills Landfill.  Transport yourself to Freshkills Park anytime, from anywhere, with our downloadable zoom backgrounds.

10:00 AM     Virtual Informational Walk Up North Mound (Video)

11:00 AM     North Park Phase 1 Construction Virtual Tour (Video)

12:00 PM     Michael McWeeney About the Park Videos (Video Playlist)

1:00 PM       Freshkills Park Zoom Backgrounds (Downloads)

2:00 PM       Learn About Leachate StoryMap (StoryMap)

Tuesday 6/23: Arts & Culture

Enjoy virtual projects inspired by the natural and engineered landscape.  Join artist and teacher James Powers for landscape drawing exercises on North Mound.  Download Ash Ferlito’s cyanotype Moth Poster, which features images from works inspired by the activity of ‘mothing.’ This ‘mothing’ was conducted in Freshkills Park on July 15, 2019.  Make your own Kinetic sculpture with MakerSpace NYC.  Attend a screening of Nancy Nowacek’s ‘Fieldwork;’ a piece created for and performed in Freshkills Park. Filmed in 360 video, the work offers viewers the ability to explore the park, as dancers perform choreographies of work related to the production of objects and goods that ultimately became part of the waste buried at the former Fresh Kills Landfill.

10:00 AM     James Powers: Plein-Air Virtual Art Exercises (Video)

12:00 PM      Ash Ferlito: Moth Poster (Download)

2:00 PM       MakerSpace NYC: Kinetic Sculptures (Video)

7:00 PM       Nancy Nowacek’s ‘Field Work’ Screening & Panel Discussion (Video)

*Panel requires advanced eventbrite registration

Wednesday 6/24: Wildlife & Research

Freshkills Park brings the wildlife home this #WildLifeWednesday.  Get a glimpse of the thriving range of birds and animals found at the park.  Check out a recording taken at one of Freshkills Park’s Osprey nests, with chicks!   In the Summer of 2019, Freshkills Park researchers set up wildlife cameras to record animal activity on site, watch the Red Fox camera footage for a snapshot of some of the larger mammals that call Freshkills Park home.  Join a Facebook live birdwatching walk around East Mound with environmentalist and educator, Cliff Hagen. For more birds and nature, download and listen to the sounds of North Mound and East Mound every morning at sunrise and evening at sunset.

10:00 AM     Osprey Nest Camera (Video )

12:00 PM      Wildlife Cameras Footage (Video)

2:00 PM       Facebook Live Bird Walk with Cliff Hagen (Facebook Live)

4:00 PM       Grassland Sounds (Streaming)

Thursday 6/25: STEAM Education

The landfill-to-park transformation is an exciting platform for education. Each day, we witness how ecology, engineering, design, history and social sciences interact to solve 21st century challenges.  Take a STEAM Challenge with Freshkills Park! These challenges use only recycled and basic materials you have at home and will teach you more about the environment at Freshkills Park.  Download environmental puzzles, activity, and coloring sheet printables for off screen enjoyment.  We all love parks, but where do parks come from? Learn all about how parks are created by registering your 8-12 year olds for our ‘Be a Park Planner’ virtual Field Trip.  Younger kids, from 6 -8, can learn all about wetlands by participating in our ‘All about Wetlands’ virtual Field Trip to Freshkills Park.

10:00 AM       Virtual STEAM Activity Fair  (Video Activity Playlist)

11:00 PM        Coloring & Activity Sheets (Activity Sheet Downloads)

12:00 PM       Be a Park Planner Virtual Field Trip (Ages 8-12) (Zoom)*

*Requires advanced eventbrite registration

2:00 PM         All about Wetlands Virtual Field trip (Ages 6-10) (Zoom)*

*Requires advanced eventbrite registration


Friday 6/26: Recreation & Fitness

Freshkills Park is comprised of many landscapes, which provide for numerous recreational opportunities.  Experience the natural and engineered landscapes and recreational offerings of Freshkills Park with immersive videos.  Join us for a kayak tour on Freshkills Creek.  Experience the water, sun and blue sky while someone else paddles!  Take a serene 3-mile bike ride around East Mound which is now a vital nesting habitat for the endangered Grasshopper Sparrow.  End the week with a run through the hills of South Mound.  South Mound was the first mound capped and offers views of all the major habitats at the Park.  These videos are a great chance to explore normally closed areas of Freshkills Park.  Enjoy them for leisure or when exercising indoors on a treadmill, spin bike or stair master.

10:00 AM        Virtual Kayak Tour (Video)

12:00 PM        Virtual 3 Mile Bike Ride Around East Mound (Video)

2:00 PM          Virtual 2.5 Mile Run Around South Mound (Video)


All virtual events and activities will be posted to our website at, as well as on our social media, from June 22 through June 26 and will be free of charge.

Presented by NYC Parks, NYC Department of Sanitation, and the Freshkills Park Alliance. Follow @freshkillspark on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram and join the mailing list for updates.

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