Special Topics Workshops

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With Wildlife in Mind

Moderator: Sunny Corrao

The opportunity to reclaim land creates layers of physical changes which can affect wildlife.  Some species may be displaced, while new species may be attracted.  In order to minimize the impact to wildlife and avoid future conflicts, how can wildlife be considered by professionals throughout the planning, designing, implementation, and completion phases of land reclamation? Bring your knowledge, experience, and creative thinking to this roundtable discussion as we address this question.

Exploring Urban Environmental Justice

Moderators: Eugenia Naro-Maciel & Cait Field

Environmental history and justice are central topics in reclaimed landscapes. This session will address questions like where are we in this respect, how did we get here, and what does the future look like? It will have a general component focused on environmental justice and history in the US northeast, and then focus on freshkills as a case study, before being opened up to collaborative conservation on the topics.

The Landfill Project: What if not a Park?

Moderator: Sonya Gimon & Martha Wilson

Edgemere Landfill, a former municipal dump in the Rockaways, Queens, has been closed for over 20 years. The landfill operated as a disposal site from 1938 to 1991, receiving about 1200 tons of waste per day. Today, Edgemere landfill is capped and is at the end of remedia­tion process that converted the dump into a spectacular, and yet unused site offering views of Jamaica Bay. The land is facing an as-yet-undeter­mined future. Together with the residents, we intend to explore strategies to create a positive impact for Edgemere.

Fresh Kills landfill is currently undergoing a transformation to a park and is an inspiration for the project. In Edgemere, we would like to explore this and other potential scenarios for the future of this site. This spring, alternative visions were developed by the students at the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance. Among them, a hydroponics-based food production system responding to the lack of healthy food opportunities in the area; a refuge in case of flooding based on the fact the landfill is the only elevated site in the Rockaways, a hub for disaster education, a composting site, a solar power station, an environmental art piece transforming the landfill into a gigantic canvas, a picnic area open for public holidays, a botanical garden and others.

The Landfill Project team would like to bring the conversation outside of the Rockaways and explore these and other visions with those interested in reclaimed lands.

Reflections on Freshkills Park: Field R/D

Moderators: Mariel Villeré, Joe Riley, Audrey Snyder, & Nancy Nowacek

Freshkills Park: Field R/D is a project to develop a visionary, community-responsive residency program for the former NYC landfill. Artists work on site in flexible, collaborative, long term engagements with the landscape as it develops from landfill to park over the next 25+ years. Freshkills Park’s Mariel Villeré and participating artists Nancy Nowacek, Joe Riley, and Audrey Snyder will discuss the first year of the program, the projects that have developed as part of it, and the impact of this work on their artistic practices and the Park project.

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