Tags: ecology

Fourth Year of Bird Banding Reveals New Species

Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship

This summer, researchers from College of Staten Island completed their fourth year of Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) bird banding at Freshkills Park. MAPS is a collaborative, continent-wide research effort coordinated by the Institute for Bird Populations, with over 1,200 participant banding stations.

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Soil Moisture Research Provides Insight into Grassland Bird Preferences

This summer, Freshkills staff and interns conducted fieldwork to assess the levels of moisture in the grassland soil on North and East Mounds. This research is part of an ongoing project to characterize the differences between the grasslands within Freshkills Park.

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Fish Monitoring Seining Program Continues in 2019

Throughout August, Freshkills Park researchers have been monitoring the diversity of fish species in the park’s Main Creek. This research has been ongoing since 2016 as a means of staying up to date on the health and quality of the aquatic ecosystems at the park.

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New Videos Introduce Visitors to Freshkills Park

Osprey

Are you new to Freshkills Park and want to learn a little bit more about the exciting changes occurring at what was once the world’s largest landfill? Freshkills Park is excited to announce the release of new videos that introduce newcomers to the park in three themes: “Welcome”, “Freshkills Park Science and Research Program”, and “Landfill Infrastructure at Freshkills Park”.

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Discovery Day: September 15, 2019

Discovery Day

Discover Freshkills Park and experience the unique landscape and spectacular views the landfill-to-park project has to offer. This free event is a special opportunity to explore the future park while the site is closed to the public. Hundreds of acres and miles of trails will be open for tours, bicycling, and activities for all ages.

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Pollinators at Freshkills Park

Bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bats are just a few examples of the animals that we call pollinators and that we rely on for approximately one third of our food supply and 90% of our world’s flowering plants. When visiting plants for food or shelter, pollinators attract pollen – often in fascinating ways – to themselves and later deposit it on the tops of flowers of the same species, thereby allowing for the creation of new seeds and reproduction.

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The Staten Island Bluebelt Expands Again

Staten Island Bluebelt

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Department of Design and Construction (DDC) recently completed the Sweet Brook system, the largest expansion to date of the Staten Island Bluebelt. The Bluebelt is an innovative, ecologically protective and cost-effective stormwater management system that minimizes flooding and improves water quality in 16 watersheds on Staten Island.

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Restoring Natural Habitats, One Goat at a Time

As invasive species become a greater problem and harder to deal with, New Yorkers are looking to more creative solutions to control their presence. Parks in the area incorporate a wide array of methods to control invasives including manual removal, pesticides and even controlled burnings.

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Panel Discussion: Re-envisioning Post-Industrial Public Landscapes

Freshkills Park USFS Rutgers Symposium

Freshkills Park’s Manager for Science & Research Development Dr. Cait Field will participate in a panel discussion at Rutgers University on Wednesday, April 27th. Called Re-envisioning Post-Industrial Public Landscapes, the discussion will include panelists from Freshkills Park and Liberty State Park in Jersey City.

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National Invasive Species Awareness Week

Invasive Species

Happy National Invasive Species Awareness Week! An “invasive species” is a plant, animal, or other organism that’s not native to the ecosystem under consideration whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

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Saw Mill Creek and the First NYC Wetlands Mitigation Bank

Saw Mill Creek

New York City is in the process of creating its first wetland mitigation bank in the marshlands surrounding Saw Mill Creek on Staten Island.  Saw Mill Creek, a tributary to Prall’s Creek and the Arthur Kill, is encircled by the largest expanse of remaining salt marsh along Staten Island’s west shore. 

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Citizen Science: Water Monitoring Project for Students

Water Monitoring

 

This spring, 6th-12th grade students in Staten Island will have the chance to participate in a Citizen Science water monitoring project at Freshkills Park. The project will be overseen by Manager of Science and Research Development Cait Field and fellow NYC Department of Parks and Recreation staff.

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Swainson’s Hawk Sighting at East Mound

Swainson Hawk - Seth Wollney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Researchers found a rare Swainson’s hawk at Freshkills Park’s East Mound on Tuesday morning. Dr. Richard Veit of The College of Staten Island described the hawk as a western North American grasslands specialist bird.

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Highlights from BioBlitz! at Freshkills Park

BioBlitz

 

On August 29th and 30th, Freshkills Park teamed up with CUNY Macaulay Honors College to conduct a BioBlitz of North Park. A BioBlitz is a 24-hr biological survey event aimed at developing a snapshot of as much biodiversity as possible in a given area at a particular time of year.

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Tweeting Bird Boxes at Freshkills Park

Tweeting Bird Box

Freshkills Park is developing a unique digital app that will broadcast the ongoing ecological restoration of the Park and create new potentials in the field of scientific research. The launch of the app will highlight a research project investigating the health of the Park’s cavity nesting birds like tree swallows and house wrens.

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From Behind the Mounds: Summertime in the Salt Marsh

Freshkills Park wetlands

2,200 total acres. 990 acres of former landfill. Last garbage barge in 2001. 150 million tons of garbage. Located along the Arthur Kill, Great Fresh Kill, Richmond Creek and Main Creek.

No, it didn’t matter how many facts I tried to memorize in preparation for my internship with Freshkills Park, because nothing can really prepare you for your first site visit.

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Rare Grasshopper Sparrow Discovered at Freshkills Park

Grasshopper Sparrow (Photo: Dominic Sherony)

Most visitors to Freshkills Park usually get excited when they see the ospreys in their nest, or a bald eagle fly by, or a red-tailed hawk overhead… but scientists and bird enthusiasts are most excited about all of the grasslands within the park.

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Farther Afield: A visit to the Black Rock Forest Consortium

In mid-December, the Freshkills Park Development Team took a trip to visit the Black Rock Forest Consortium in Cornwall, NY. The Consortium manages 3,838 acres of forest with a scientific research field station on site. The team met with Dr. Bill Schuster, Black Rock’s Executive Director, who gave an overview of the facilities at the station and the research and scientific programming taking place, and led the team on a tour into the forest to visit some of the current research sites towards fostering ideas for the future of the scientific research program at Freshkills Park.

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Gowanus Canal Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its cleanup plan for Gowanus Canal. The Brooklyn Canal, bound by Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens and Red Hook, was declared a Superfund site in 2010 and communities have long been pushing for its cleanup.

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Bird Breeding at Freshkills

Last week several members of the Freshkills team assisted Dr. Mark Hauber, a professor of Psychology at Hunter College, in checking bird nestboxes in the park. Dr. Hauber is gathering data on the bird populations and breeding success at Freshkills Park, a site which has acted as a stopover for bird species along the Atlantic Migratory Flyway since the closure of the landfill.

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