If you were thrilled to learn that Staten Island is “The Borough of Parks,” you're in for a special treat in the years to come. Freshkills Park has slowly been coming to fruition in small stages throughout the past few years. The park, which sits upon a former landfill, will become the largest park in New York City upon its completion. The project is a huge undertaking and many of its promised features are still in the preliminary planning stages. The city offered residents a sneak peak this past weekend which had made it clear just how grand this park will prove to be. Divided up into five sections, the massive piece of land will feature sprawling meadows, intricate pathways, and various outdoor recreation zones. Since the park is so large, it would serve well as a new route in-between several communities. With the addition of roadways that cut through the park, motorists would be able to drive from New Springville to Arden Heights, up to Travis, and back around to Annadale. Here’s a breakdown of Freshkills Park’s promising future.
The main hub of it all is known as “The Confluence” which is centrally located within the park. The main arrival area will exist within this space which allows for adequate parking lots. It’s even suited for a dock at “Creeks Landing” which would allow for ferry service to and from the park and other water-centric features. Multiple sports fields, open lawns, and event space round out the design plans for “The Confluence.
According to the New York City Parks Department, The Point will feature a promenade along the water’s edge. The Promenade is slighted to contain space for restaurants, a banquet hall, and open air market place. Artifacts from the previous Fresh Kills operation will be transformed into sculptures, barges will be re-imagined as floating gardens.
Artist's rendering of North Park
The North Section of Freshkills Park will incorporate the newly renovated Schmul Park in Travis as well as the existing William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge. The area is planned to serve as a walking path that will transport visitors through expansive picnic lawns, an overlook deck, and even a bird observation tower near the water. During the early stages of development, a herd of goats (just like the ones at Fort Wadsworth!) roamed the hills to graze on overgrown vegetation.
Schul Park, Travis will connect directly to the North Park section.
The South Section of Freshkills Park will provide stunning views. From the top of the hill visitors can see all three of Staten Island’s bridges as well as the Parachute Jump at Coney Island! An outdoor amphitheatre, perhaps the most ambitious idea for the park, is planned for this area. A bicycle loop, baseball field, and additional picnic area are also in the works for the south section of Freshkills Park. The Owl Hollow Soccer Fields of Greenridge, on the outskirts of this section, are already open to the public.
Artists rendering of Owl Hollow Soccer Field
East Park is where the Visitor’s Center will eventually be placed. While this phase of the project is still in its design stage, walking paths, meadows, and boat launching area for kayaks are a few ideas.
Artist's rendering of "Springville Greenway" which will border the east edge of the park along Richmond Avenue.
This section of the park is where debris from 9/11 was taken to be sorted. In light of that fact, plans for this section of the park are still years away. Plans for a memorial are in the works for this area; public opinion will be greatly taken into consideration.
Check out the links below for more information on the park, it's projects, and much more!