Friday, October 1, 2010

Fresh Kills Park - Reinventing a Landfill

During a recent Jersey Shore episode a certain Staten Island guidette was given the moniker “Staten Island Dump”; and while fitting to this young woman’s character it is an insult that will soon be outdated and unfamiliar to the next generation of Staten Islanders.  Currently the 62 year old Fresh Kills Dump is undergoing a major transformation from being the city’s former garbage disposal to one of the largest recreational parks in the country. Yes a park, specifically a park which will be three times the size of Central Park, have 2,200 acres and will take up 6% of Staten Island’s landmass.

Buried deep underneath the new park will be over 150 million tons of trash which is either currently, or in the process of being, safely capped off so as not to cause any issues. Several processing plants are also currently in existence to ensure the proper disposal of runoff that occurs underground. The park is expected to be completed around 2040; it will include a bird watching platform, boating as well as a stage for concerts and various productions. There will also be seedling and tree nurseries to promote the return of native vegetation and animals. This extensive project was first conceived back in 2001 when the Parks and Recreation Department first approached the city. A planning competition was held and from there plans were created and recently construction has already begun on the playground near Travis Ave which borders what will become the Fresh Kills Park.  

Not only will this park promote the return of nature to an extensive landmass and boost tourism to the island; it will also hopefully help to shed a stigma of Staten Island that is as old as the garbage itself. 

Sunday October 3, 2010 the Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a sneak peek at Fresh Kills Landfill, for those who wish to view the plans for the future park from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Read more about Fresh Kills Park.

- Deryn Cro, Student Correspondent