On September 29th, Freshkills Park opened its gates to the public for the fourth annual Sneak Peak event and attracted 3,500 people, a steady increase from previous years.
They came on bikes, on ferries, and in cars; with family, with friends. A girl from Brooklyn says, “This is a strange place. It does not feel like we are in the city at all.” Indeed, the tall yellow grass, the rolling hills, and the hawks in the sky seemed like neither the city nor the previous landfill site.
In the central area, a miniature horse pulled kids around for five minute rides. The goats that helped eat the site’s invasive phragmites, bleated at passerby. Families lounged on wooden-crates, as Staten Island artists transformed the stone bridge with spray paint. In the distance, a giant rock wall supported climbers of all ages; kayakers took boats into the river.
For a quieter experience, people trekked to the Overlook, a high point where they could see the Manhattan skyline. Or, on a steeper path, they climbed to the top of North Mound and flew Freshkills Park kites.
Art, nature, food and clear skies: we couldn’t have asked for a better day! Now, to start planning for next year’s Sneak Peak… In any case, stay posted on Freshkills Park happenings, and if you missed Sneak Peak this year, there’s always next year. Park tours are also available from April to November:
September 29, 2013 – Save the date!
Since 2010, the Freshkills Park Team, in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks and the New York City Department of Sanitation, has hosted an annual fall “Sneak Peak” to give the public an opportunity to experience the beauty of the Freshkills Park site and to witness its remarkable transformation. Freshkills Park’s fourth annual Sneak Peak will be held on Sunday September 29th, 2013 and will be free and open to the public as always.
Like last year, we are planning a day of family-friendly, outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy. Last year, we drew our biggest crowd yet – over 2,500 visitors, 500 of which had an opportunity to take a kayak out on Main Creek. We added free bike rentals to the list of offerings last year and have already started thinking about new activities.
Feel free to email us at email@example.com with any questions about the event, or if you have any suggestions for making this year’s Sneak Peak the best one yet.
On September 23rd, Freshkills Park hosted our biggest Sneak Peak event yet. The third annual Sneak Peak drew over 2,500 visitors to the North Park section of the future park.
This year’s Sneak Peak featured free bicycle rentals for the first time as a fun way to get around the site more quickly. Also new this year, visitors helped decorate the bridge over Main Creek by creating a mural with Council on the Arts and Humanities of Staten Island.
And, as always, visitors were able to take in the incredible view and fly kites on the top of North Mound, watch for birds, kayak in Main Creek, explore a hike and bike loop, and participate in a variety of fun and educational activities throughout the day along the main event path. Plus, the Department of Transportation’s free bike helmet fitting station gave away 511 more brand-new helmets this year!
The day was a great success and next year’s Sneak Peak will be even bigger and better! As Staten Island resident Richie Ignazio remarked, “Everybody should experience this, it’s unbelievable!”
There are three great events coming up this month related to Freshkills Park.
The first is the opening of a new exhibit, From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012, on the history of Staten Island at the Museum of the City of New York. The exhibit opens to the public on Thursday, September 13th and will be on display through January 21st. The story behind the creation of the Fresh Kills Landfill and subsequent redevelopment into Freshkills Park is featured prominently. As the exhibition description states:
Through maps, photographs, newspapers, government documents, and original artifacts, visitors will encounter Staten Island’s historical transformation and its changing roles as a farming center, as a rural retreat, as the site of rapidly residential communities, as a center for industry, and as an increasingly dense urban environment. From Farm to City: Staten Island 1661-2012 will also enable visitors to explore current debates about land preservation, environmental sustainability, and redevelopment on the island…
Also upcoming on Thursday, September 20th is a screening, hosted by Staten Island Borough President Molinaro, of a new documentary about the transformation of the Fresh Kills site entitled The Freshkills Story. The screening is free and open to the public and will take place at 7 pm at the historic St. George Theater on Staten Island (doors open at 6:30). The film will be followed by a panel discussion with individuals who have been involved in the life of the site, including Freshkills Park Administrator Eloise Hirsh.
The one-hour documentary includes footage from when Fresh Kills was operational, details the fight led by Staten Island residents and government leaders to close the landfill, and showcases the future of what will be Staten Island’s largest park, including active and passive recreation opportunities, wind and solar energy facilities, and roadways open to the public. (View the Trailer for The Freshkills Story)
And, of course, don’t forget about this year’s Sneak Peak! It’s happening on Sunday, September 23rd, from 11 am to 4 pm and will be a great opportunity to see the incredible transformation of the park in person. There’s going to be a lot to see and plenty of family-friendly activities including kayaking, biking, nature walks, kite flying, workshops, and much more. For more information please visit the Sneak Peak website at www.nyc.gov/sneakpeak. We look forward to seeing everyone there!
Our third annual Sneak Peak event is just one month away!
Sneak Peak is a rare opportunity to go inside the park and preview the incredible transformation of the site. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, September 23rd, from 11 am to 4 pm, and will feature all sorts of fun things to see and do, including birdhouse building, kayaking, kite-flying, bike riding, pony riding, mural painting, bag sewing, instrument making, and much more. Plus, the famous phragmites-munching goats will be making a special return appearance! But of course, the main attraction, as always, will be the breath-taking beauty of Freshkills Park.
If you haven’t made it out to see it for yourself, this is your chance.
For more information on getting there, including free shuttle buses to and from the Staten Island Ferry St. George terminal and a free round-trip New York Water Taxi ride departing from the Battery, click here.
This past weekend, Freshkills Park hosted two lively sets of visitors. On Saturday, Pack 118 of the Staten Island Boys of Scouts of America, explored the South and North Mounds of the park. This curious group of young Staten Islanders learned about the myriad of wildlife and plant species that make their home at Freshkills Park, as well as the history of the landfill and master plan. Many thanks to the pack members who have also visited Freshkills Park previously to take good care of some of the trees planted on site as part of the Million Trees NYC program.
Sunday was a glorious day for taking in Freshkills Park from the water. An intrepid group of 20 kayakers from Staten Island were led by the Freshkills Park team and volunteers from Kayak Staten Island, and paddled along the Main Creek. It was prime time for birdwatching as the kayakers saw an osprey dive for fish right next to the boats! Blue Herons and Egrets dotted the shoreline, as terns and gulls flew overhead joining the paddlers in enjoying the beautiful scenery along the Fresh Kill waterways and wetland.
Tours of Freshkills Park are free and open to the public by appointment only. If you would like to schedule a group tour please contact Michael Callery at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more exciting public tour announcements and news on our annual preview event Sneak Peak at Freshkills Park which will take place on Sunday, September 23.
This Saturday, July 28, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) will be holding an exclusive sneak preview of the submissions to the 2012 LAGI NYC design competition for Freshkills Park. You’ll learn all about renewable energy technologies, land art and public art, and even design your own energy-generating public artwork.
The event will take place at 105 Water Street, Staten Island. 10am-5pm.
We hope to see you there!
The 2012 International Urban Parks Conference is around the corner! From July 14th-17th, park professionals, politicians and urban park advocates from around the world will attend “Greater & Greener: Reimagining Parks for 21st Century Cities,” held in New York City. The conference is presented by City Parks Alliance.
Freshkills Park will be a featured tour on July 14th from 2-5pm, along with tours throughout to other innovative New York City Department of Parks & Recreation parks. On July 15th & 16th, the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) will be anonymously premiering the submissions to the 2012 LAGI design competition for a site within Freshkills Park.
Join us on Sunday, July 8, as members of the Freshkills Park team, with assistance from Kayak Staten Island and generous support of the Downtown Boathouse, guide you through the creeks of Freshkills Park via kayak.
The tour will last two hours and is free of charge. Start time is 9:30 a.m. Kayaks, life vests and safety training will be provided. Most of the provided boats will be 2-person kayaks, so please note that if you come alone you may be paired with another attendee.
Meeting location is accessible only by personal vehicle (location and directions will be provided upon confirmation); there is no bicycle or public transit access at this time. This tour will be limited to participants ages 18 and up. Limit two spots per request.
Sunday, July 8, 9:30 a.m. at the Freshkills Park site. Free. Space is very limited; RSVP required. Please email email@example.com or call (212)788-8277 to reserve a spot.
Starting this weekend, NYC Wildflower Week presents a terrific series of events focused on New York’s open space and rich native plant communities. To celebrate, our partners at the Greenbelt Native Plant Center on Staten Island are welcoming the public next Monday, May 14, on a tour of their facilities.
The Greenbelt Native Plant Center is the only municipal native plant nursery in the country. It is a 13-acre greenhouse, nursery, founder seed and seed bank complex owned and operated by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Over the past fifteen years, the center has grown hundreds of thousands of specimens from locally collected seed of the city’s indigenous flora for use in restoration and replanting projects, and is currently developing bulk seed mixes for the city. The GNPC is a partner in the establishment of the first national native seed bank called Seeds of Success.
The tour is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so advance registration is encouraged.
Monday, May 14 | 10 am – 12 pm
Greenbelt Native Plant Center
GNPC Nursery | 38-08 Victory Blvd, Staten Island
Guide: Timothy Chambers, Nursery Manager, GNPC, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Register for the tour