Tags: research

Seining Provides Snapshot of Fish Population

Fish seining

In 2018, NYC Parks researchers monitored the fish species in the waterways of Freshkills Park. This ongoing research has helped to document the fish in the creeks since 2016. The data provide insight into the health of the fish populations, as well as the food availability for wading birds like the great egrets and great blue herons seen foraging in the park.

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Nest Monitoring Shows Osprey Population on the Rise

Osprey family

By early April, ospreys had arrived at Freshkills Park after spending the winter in warmer places. Nicknamed “fish hawks,” these large raptors like being close to shallow water for easy access to food. The birds quickly got to work building their summer homes on tall platforms close to the creeks.

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Exploring Background Noise Levels

A new research project is being developed at Freshkills, and it’s a noisy one. Staff and interns will partner with members of the NYC Parks Wildlife Unit to place sound meters around the park to compare ambient noise levels between two areas.

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Third Year of Grassland Research Begins

Grassland Research

The closure of the Fresh Kills Landfill and the planting of native grasses atop the landfill cap has led to hundreds of acres of new grasslands. This offers the unusual chance to see a nascent ecosystem take shape, bringing its value as a specialized habitat with environmental benefits to the forefront.

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Science and Research Intern: Kaitlyn Brudecki

Kaitlyn Brudecki

Kaitlyn Brudecki is a Science and Research Intern for the Freshkills Park project. She grew up in Greenpoint, Brooklyn then later moved to Middle Village, Queens. She studies Aquaculture at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School.

What are you working on?

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The Value of Research in Reclaimed Urban Spaces

Bird Banding

At five o’clock in the morning, a team of researchers enter Freshkills Park, passing flare stations and winding through the roads that border the park’s rolling hills to get to their workstation. The sun is just beginning to break as they unfurl their mist nets in an opening in a stand of trees and set up a table with tiny metal bands, clamps, clipboards, scales, rulers, and pencils.

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Reintroducing Natural Systems to Create Healthier, More Resilient Cities

Living Shoreline

Storm surges reached near record highs in Boston during an intense winter storm early this year. Storms are being seen with increasing strength and frequency throughout the country, and they’re being coupled with increasing costs of repairs and restorations. This has given rise to creative mitigation strategies to limit the impact of severe weather events.

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2017 in Review

Freshkills 2017

In November of 2017, Freshkills Park celebrated the groundbreaking at North Park. The event signaled the start of construction on the 21-acre project, which will be the first section inside the Fresh Kills Landfill boundaries to become public parkland. This milestone was possible thanks in part to the growing community that is engaging with the project and participating in scheduled programs. 

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2017 Christmas Bird Count Results

Christmas Bird Count 2017

The 2017 Christmas Bird Count took place in Staten Island on Saturday, December 16. As part of this yearly tradition, Staten Islanders spread across the Island to count as many different species as possible. This year there was a myriad of species found within Freshkills Park and across the Island.

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Grassland Research Continues at Freshkills Park

Grassland Research

With the decline of grassland habitat, less than 1% of original grasslands remain in the Northeast. Meanwhile, the mounds of the Fresh Kills Landfill have been covered by a cap and seeded with native plants, and the engineered grasslands at Freshkills Park are providing vital habitat to many bird species dependent upon them.

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Monitoring the Waterways of Freshkills Park

Kayaking

Between June and September, NYC Parks staff conducted weekly water testing at the park to look at the health of the waterways. NYC Sanitation regularly conducts tests to monitor the air, surface water and groundwater at Freshkills Park. While the data that Sanitation collects is used to assess the effectiveness of the landfill infrastructure, this testing was focused on tracking the site’s restoration from an ecological perspective. 

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Bird Banding Returns to Freshkills Park

Common Yellowthroat - José R. Ramírez

Researchers from the College of Staten Island are operating a bird banding station at Freshkills Park for the second consecutive summer. The project is led by Dr. Lisa Manne and Dr. Dick Veit. In 2016, they banded over 20 species of birds, including orchard orioles, hairy woodpeckers, and yellow warblers.

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American Wetlands Month

Kayaking

Did you know that the month of May is dedicated to celebrating the importance of wetlands? Back in 1991, the EPA and its partners designated May as American Wetlands Month to educate Americans about the value of wetlands as a natural resource.

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Turtle Research and Water Sampling Indicate Healthy Ecological Progress

Researchers from the College of Staten Island have carried out another successful season of turtle research at Freshkills Park. Since 2012, they have been studying the biodiversity of the park’s ponds with a focus on painted turtles. This comparative study is looking at painted turtle populations in the park’s rainwater basins compared to three other populations around Staten Island.

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2016 in Review

Discovery Day - Dimi Papanikos

This past year marked the fifteen-year anniversary of the Fresh Kills Landfill closure. In March of 2001, the final barge of household garbage arrived at the landfill. Later that year, the City of New York announced an international design competition for the development of a plan for Freshkills Park.

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This Holiday Season, Support the Park’s Momentum

Holiday Card

Dear Friends:

This year’s $30 million funding for the Mayor’s Anchor Parks initiative is a wonderful recognition of the progress we’re making as Freshkills Park continues to take shape. The Anchor Parks project, now entering design, will focus on South Park.

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Banding Birds to Track Success

Bird Banding

This summer, researchers from the College of Staten Island operated the first bird banding station at Freshkills Park. The banding station was part of The Institute for Bird Populations’ MAPS: Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship program, which has been in existence since 1989.

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Secret Lives of City Vermin

Rock Pigeon

Ask people to name an animal that lives in New York City, and chances are they’ll pick one of the following: Rats, pigeons, or cockroaches.

And they’ll probably have some horror stories to tell about them.

Now, we could go on and on here at the Freshkills Park office about how there are thousands of different animal species living within the boundaries of NYC, including many that are rare, but today we’d like to take a minute to highlight some aspects of those lesser-loved, often only known for their traits that are in conflict with human society, animals that call NYC home.

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A Look Back at the 2015 Freshkills Park BioBlitz

Freshkills Park Bioblitz

In 2015, sophomores from CUNY Macaulay Honors College worked with professional scientists across 233 acres and two days in August to conduct a BioBlitz at Freshkills 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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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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