Tags: recreation

Freshkills Park, Fifteen Years after Landfill Closure



Fifteen years ago this week, the final barge of household garbage arrived at Fresh Kills Landfill. To celebrate this milestone, the website’s new interactive landfill-to-park timeline illustrates almost 100 years of changes in the area.

The last barge to Fresh Kills marked the end of 53 years of landfill operations.


Freshkills Park Helps You Keep New Year’s Resolutions


It’s easy to make resolutions at the start of the new year, but many of us struggle with keeping them for more than a few months. Fortunately, Freshkills Park will be there to help you accomplish a wide variety of goals in 2016.


SIAC Cross-Country 5K and 10K Race

SIAC Cross-Country Race

A record 165 runners participated in the 3rd Annual Staten Island Athletic Club (SIAC) Championship Cross-Country Race on Sunday, November 8. SIAC describes this yearly race at Freshkills Park as a chance to run or walk along one of the largest man-made mountains in the world, seeing part of Staten Island that few have seen and encountering wildlife along the way.


Farther Afield: Mahim Nature Park in Mumbai

Mahim Nature Park in Mumbai

Over the past several decades, there has been a steady decline – paired with an increased consolidation – of landfills within the United States. This is due, in part, to a number of federal legislation that revised and updated the operational practices and permitted locations of municipal waste disposal.


From Behind the Mounds: A visit to the Harbor School

The Freshkills Park Team endeavors to keep up with innovative programming and research on NYC Waterways and recently took a ferry to Governor’s Island to visit the Harbor School, home of the Billion Oyster Project. The Harbor School provides a truly unique maritime program for high school students with a curriculum built around restoring one billion oysters to New York Harbor. 


Sneak Peak 2013


On September 29th, Freshkills Park opened its gates to the public for the fourth annual Sneak Peak event and attracted 3,500 people, a steady increase from previous years.

They came on bikes, on ferries, and in cars; with family, with friends.


Scientific proof that your brain loves a walk in the park

The Atlantic Cities recently reported on a fascinating psychology study being conducted at the University of Michigan, which proves just how much the brain can benefit from even brief interactions with nature, especially in contrast to an urban context. The team, led by the cognitive neuroscientist Dr.


Wetland restoration on former landfill (with a little help from goats!)

With the support of a New York State Environmental Protection Fund Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant, the Department of Parks & Recreation is undertaking restoration of two acres of wetland habitat along Main Creek within Freshkills Park that will include goat grazing as a method of invasive plant control.


Sign up for the July Kayak Tour before it fills up!

Join us on Sunday, July 8, as members of the Freshkills Park team, with assistance from Kayak Staten Island and generous support of the Downtown Boathouse, guide you through the creeks of Freshkills Park via kayak.

The tour will last two hours and is free of charge.


New Section of Staten Island Bike Path to Open in August

Come August,  Staten Island is set to become an even more bike-friendly borough. The Parks Department is in the process of completing a two-mile bike path that will connect the neighborhoods of Great Kills and New Dorp, both of which lie on the other side of Latourette Park from Freshkills Park.


How building subways helps build our parks

As work on Manhattan’s Second Avenue subway line progresses, those viewing the massively scaled operation may wonder, “where does all the excavated dirt and rock go?” In the past, the ‘muck’ from expanding subway lines and other construction projects has contributed to the building of Ellis Island, Governors Island and Battery Park City, among other city landmarks – including the expansion of the Manhattan shoreline.


Earth Day Million Trees Stewardship Event

On April 21st, during Earth Day weekend, Freshkills Park hosted our very first volunteer project! Staten Island Boy Scout Packs 5 and 118 (and their parents) tended to the Million Trees planting area in the South Park section of the site.


City parks – just the facts

The Trust for Public Land recently published its annual report on urban parkland in the United States. The 2011 City Park Facts lists information for the 100 largest U.S. cities, serving as the nation’s most complete database of park facts.

The report includes data on urban park acreage, spending, staffing, and facilities.


At Sneak Peak: free kayak tours of Freshkills Park

The most in-demand activity at last year’s Sneak Peak, by far, was the chance to paddle a canoe around the Freshkills Park site.  This year we began a public kayak tour program at the site and will open up our capacity significantly at this year’s Sneak Peak, this Sunday, October 2nd.


Success! Our first public kayak tours

Sunday’s two public kayak tours were a rousing success.  Following up on the highly in-demand free paddle in Fresh Kills Creek during last October’s Sneak Peak, these were the first public boating tours we’ve held at the Freshkills Park site. 


Floyd Bennett Field to become major urban campsite

Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Field, a former civilian and military airport on the Jamaica Bay coast, is now poised to become New York City’s largest campground. The site was taken over by the National Park Service (NPS) in 1971 after being decommissioned for aircraft, and as part of the Gateway National Recreation Area has since played host to a variety of activities: organized sports, model and full-scale airplane hobbyism, motorcycle practice and Brooklyn’s largest community garden. 


19 more NYC parks to have Wi-Fi

After facing challenges finding a private wireless provider, the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation has signed a five-year contract with AT&T to provide free wireless internet access in 19 new park locations throughout all five New York City boroughs.  Currently, 13 parks in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens provide Wi-Fi; arrangements for access in the additional 19 parks will be made by the end of the summer.


Reflections on active urban design

The Dirt runs a great interview with Joyce Lee, Director of the Active Design Program at the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC).  DDC’s Active Design Guidelines, released last year, is a manual produced for architects and urban designers with the aim of designing buildings, streets and urban spaces that best promote health and activity. 


Schoolyards becoming community recreation spaces

City Parks Blog runs an excerpt of Peter Harnik‘s Urban Green: Innovative Parks for Resurgent Cities on schoolyard parks, spaces reserved for schoolchildren during school hours and used by the whole community at other times.  Examples cited include:

  • The Boston Schoolyard Initiative, through which about $320,000 buys a each schoolyard a new drainage system, plantings, hard surface area, play equipment, fences, decorative art, and mini-landscapes for environmental education;
  • Denver’s slightly larger Learning Landscapes, which include a field, play structures, a hard-surface court and aesthetic upgrades for about $450,000;
  • Houston’s Spark (School Park Program), which spends between $75,000 and $100,000 per site to provide modular play equipment, picnic tables, benches, outdoor classrooms, gardens, trails, native plantings, murals and mosaics.

Urban Bikeway Design Guide released

The National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO) has released its Urban Bikeway Design guide, a very thorough and valuable desk reference for planners, engineers and bicycle advocates considering improvements to urban bicycle infrastructure.  The guide, which comes in PDF and web-based versions, draws from extensive literature search, case studies and real-life experiences, with input from a host of traffic engineers, urban planners and academics with expertise in this arena.


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