Make Freshkills Park Your Park

Welcome to Freshkills 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. It also has a significant history as the site of the Fresh Kills Landfill, which was the largest landfill in the world before closing in 2001. Since then, the landscape has been engineered with layers of soil and infrastructure, and the area has become a place for wildlife, recreation, science, education, and art. As the park is built in phases, free tours and events provide early access for learning and exploration opportunities.

Video by Michael McWeeney and made possible by the Freshkills Park Alliance

Freshkills Park Science and Research Program

The Freshkills Park The Alliance, NYC Parks and DSNY seek to promote responsible and innovative strategies for environmental sustainability and ecological restoration through collaborative investigation, demonstration and instruction. Freshkills Park is a platform for generating knowledge applicable to a broad range of urban environmental issues, at this site and others: reforestation, habitat restoration, wildlife biology, soil productivity, water quality, alternative energy generation, and even attitudes toward park usage. While parts of the park are under construction other areas will remain undeveloped; with 2,200 acres of land there is opportunity for research projects in a variety of disciplines. The City hopes to capitalize on this available undeveloped land by collaborating on research studies and permitting access that is restricted to scientists, technicians and students. Initial projects are already underway with the United States Forest Service, CUNY’s College of Staten Island (CSI) and Hunter College, and NY/NJ Baykeeper among others. The Department of Parks & Recreation continues to seek partners in academia, museums, government and the private sector in the interest of refining and targeting research questions toward the advancement of study and the pursuit of funding opportunities.

Video by Michael McWeeney and made possible by the Freshkills Park Alliance

Landfill Infrastructure at Freshkills Park

The landfill engineering stabilizes the mounds, collects the byproducts of the landfill waste, and makes the Freshkills Park project possible. This video shows how new grasslands are growing on top of the mounds after the landfill was covered and stabilized. The landfill is now maintained by the collection and processing of landfill gas and leachate as well as air, surface water, and groundwater monitoring.

Video by Michael McWeeney and made possible by the Freshkills Park Alliance

Motion Sensor Camera Study: Video Compilation

The red fox, one of Staten Island’s rarest and most elusive mammals, is now living in what was once the world’s largest landfill. Prompted by occasional sightings, our science team has set up specially designed motion sensor cameras to capture any movement of wildlife within Freshkills Park. The resulting images and footage will give the researchers insight into what the foxes are eating, what time of day they are active, and the success of the kits — as well as what other animals are around!

Confluence: Artists on Water and Change

On October 9, 2016, curators Mariel Villere and Dylan Gauthier organized a public tour of Confluence, a site where two historic rivers meet at the center of the future Freshkills Park. They invited artists Mary Mattingly, Lize Mogel, and Nancy Nowacek to narrate the trip.

UnCommon Pages

UnCommon Pages is an ongoing art project presented by Susan Mills. On July 19 2014, Susan led a group to harvest Phragmites, the invasive species found at Freshkills Park, also known as the common reed. Susan transported the harvested Phragmites to Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY to cook the plant material and remove impurities, beat with water to form a pulp from the plant fibers, then hand dip to form paper sheets. These are the cover stock for 2,000 passport-sized Field Notebooks, in the process of being made by workshop participants. This video tells the story of how the covers were made and the ongoing public bookmaking workshops. Special thanks to Eva Neves for editing the short film and Dominic Mekky for providing the music.

NERTM Meditation Walk with Tattfoo Tan and Thupten Phuntsok at Freshkills Park

Meditation is the practice of calming one’s mind and focusing on one point. In a walking meditation, the walk is the focus. This walk suggests closer connections with our land within a greater urban environment. Venerable Phuntsok has taught meditation and other subjects and led retreats at a number of locations over the past 12 years.

Program presented in partnership with the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art and made possible by an Original Work Grant from Staten Island Arts, with public funding from the New York State Council on the Arts.

Videography by Sebastian Choe.

About NERTM: The New Earth Resiliency Training Module (NERTM) is a series of tours, workshops and sessions organized by artist Tattfoo Tan that highlight climate change, preparedness and resiliency by training self-reliance and the ethos of living closer to the earth within an urban environment. The project explores these and related topics in the context of Freshkills Park and Staten Island communities.


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