Imagine Central Park. Are you picturing it? Good! Now, imagine Central Park is three times bigger and located in Staten Island. That is what Freshkills Park will be: 2,200 acres of nature and park fun! While areas of the park are already open, we are truly excited for the whole park to be completed and open to the public. We sadly discovered that not many Staten Islanders really know what is about to take place. (Hint: It is going to be amazing and historical!) So let’s jump into our top ten reasons why we are excited for Freshkills Park!
- Yes, historical! Staten Island will no longer be known as having the world’s largest landfill. Now, we will have the largest park in New York City! Freshkills Park is going to be a symbol of renewal and an expression of how our society can restore balance to its landscape!
- Environmentally cleaning out the park! The park wants to be an example to the world that you can turn something as harmful as the dump into something beautiful with renewable infrastructure. The park is currently being harvested of the methane gas. It is being removed by the Department of Sanitation. There is enough gas coming out of the park to heat 22,000 homes! The DSNY will continue to drain the gas and sell it to the National Grid, until there is no more left, harming the park.
- Now for the making a difference environmentally. The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) want to add energy technology to supply as much of the park’s energy as possible! They plan on having photovoltaic cells and wind turbines, using solar thermal cells in water heating systems, geothermal heating and cooling and enduring green building principles.
- Will also be educational! The city wants the park to be a learning platform on urban environmental issues: reforestation, habitat restoration, soil production, water quality, alternation energy generation, and attitudes towards the parks usage. It is time to learn how to make a difference!
- It is going to be five parks in one! Just as central park, it is going to be broken up into different wings: West, East, North, South, and the middle (confluence). Each park will be a section for different activities and events.
- Now to the fun! As mentioned, each section of the park will have it’s own features: Confluence: It will be the center of the park. It will be where you will find Creek Landings (20 acres: waterfront activities-canoe and boat launch, restaurants, and a large lawn for gatherings, picnics, and sunbathing) and The Point (50 acres: will have sport fields, event spaces, lawns, artwork and educational programing, more restaurants, a banquet facility, and an open air market roof). North Park (233 acres): Features paths and trails for walking, running, biking, and skating, as well as more picnic areas, catch and release fishing, and bird watching. South Park (425 acres): will include soccer fields, mountain biking, more fields, trails, and picnic areas, and a recreation center for track, field, and swimming. East Park (482 acres): a nature educational area, wetlands, boardwalks, exhibits and public art installations, golf, field sports, archery, Frisbee, and, once again, a picnic area. West Park (545 acres): the largest area of the park will be the home of Freshkills’ 9/11 memorial, wildflower meadows, and a hilltop tall enough to see lower Manhattan.
- There will be horseback riding! It did not list in what specific part of then park it will be featured in, but it is listed as an activity that will be spotlighted in the park!
- Future events! Central Park has concerts, outdoor movie screenings, races, movie/TV show network events, and so much more. It has not been mentioned nor confirmed, but if Freshkills is going to be bigger than Central Park, it is a possibility events as such can take place there. And we would be close to home!
- They have a website. Not only do they have their own website, they also have a Facebook page and twitter to keep us all up to date on the plans, the construction, events, and ways we can help out!
- There will be a Sneak Peak! Unfortunately, the park is not planned on being fully completed for another 30 years. But with every installation completed and approved by the NYSDEC, will it be open for general public! Freshkills Park holds annual “sneak peak” festival celebrating Staten Island’s landfill-to-park! It will include kayaking, biking, walking tours, kite flying, animals, public art, live music, climbing walls, food trucks and more!
Now that you are fully informed and up to date on what will be happening here on our beloved island, you may join us with the excitement for Freshkills Park!
What do you think about the Freshkills Park? What are you most excited about? Share thoughts in the comments below or join our conversation on Facebook!
Check out our Pinterest Top Ten Board for more pictures and how-to links.
Images source: wordpress, metro, sustainblog, freshkillspark, nycgovparks,