Freshkills Park Blog

Recent press on upcoming Freshkills Park speakers

MLUOne of the panelists at next Tuesday evening’s panel discussion on public art, The Challenges and Channels of Public Art Production, is Mierle Ukeles, who is the Department of Sanitation’s Artist-in-Residence and contributed to the Freshkills Park master planning process as a Percent for Art artist.  As the first and premier maintenance artist working today, there’s been a lot written about Mierle’s public artwork over the years, including this most recent article in Public Art Review.  She’s also written a chapter called “Forgiveness for the Land–Public Offerings: Made by All Redeemed by All” in the recently published book Considering Forgiveness.

handelThe Christian Science Monitor also just featured Dr. Steven Handel, a pioneer in the field of urban ecology who has been involved in a number of investigations and design projects for land reclamation sites–including numerous studies on the Freshkills Park site.  Dr. Handel is the director of the Center for Urban Restoration Ecology (CURE), a joint venture between Rutgers and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  He will be this month’s speaker in our Freshkills Park Talks lecture series next Thursday evening at the Staten Island Museum, where he’ll discussing urban ecology, directions for the future and the lessons we can take from Freshkills Park.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Field Operations on Designing Freshkills Park

Our big thanks to Jerome Chou and Grace Tang from Field Operations for last Thursday’s Freshkills Park Talk on designing the park. Jerome delivered a great primer on landscape architecture (including a history in two slides!) and talked about the mandate for new model of practice given the nature of the site and the enormity of the project, both in space and time scale. Grace walked us through the design concepts for three early projects: the Digger signage project, Schmul Park and North Park Phase A, and talked about how these projects—especially North Park—bring into specific play the grander ideas of the Draft Master Plan for the park as a whole. A number of the crowd’s questions dealt with maintenance and operations of the park: how it will be staffed, how its cleanliness will be ensured. This was a good opportunity to clarify the separate roles of the designers and the city: we at the Parks Department are responsible for the park and, jointly with the Department of Sanitation, will be in charge of its day-to-day operation.

A PDF of Jerome and Grace’s presentation is available here (it’s a 10MB download). Below are a couple of choice audio clips, each between 3 and 5 minutes long, from the talk. It’s useful to follow along with the PDF while they talk, since they refer to images a lot; each clip indicates the first slide it references.

landscape_thumbClip 1: A brief history of landscape architecture. Starts on Slide 12, “Context.”

fklandscape_thumbClip 2: Time, space and what makes Freshkills Park so unique. Starts on Slide 18, “2011 / 2016 / 2036.”

schmul_thumbClip 3: A walk through the Field Operations design for Schmul Park. Starts on Slide 42, “Schmul Park.”

Next month’s talk, “Urban Ecology at Fresh Kills,” will be given by Dr. Steven Handel from Rutgers University, who has conducted ecological research at Fresh Kills since the early 1990s. Dr. Handel will be talking about what we can learn from Fresh Kills in developing strategies for restoring ecology in our cities.  As always, this event is free of charge.
June 25th, 7:30 pm at the Staten Island Museum.

June 2, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tonight! Freshkills Park Talk

Just a reminder about this evening’s talk at the Staten Island Museum.  Jerome Chou and Grace Tang from landscape architecture and urban design firm Field Operations will be discussing the ideas behind the design of Freshkills Park and their work on upcoming projects.  Should be a good one.

Freshkills Park Talks: Designing Freshkills Park 
May 28th @ 7:30 pm at the Staten Island Museum, 
75 Stuyvesant Place (a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal)

May 28, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Freshkills Park talk: Designing Freshkills Park, Thursday May 28

A Field Operations rendering of the southwestern view of the North Park Founder Seed farm from the deck of a bird observation tower at water's edge.

A Field Operations rendering of the southwestern view of the North Park Founder Seed farm from the deck of a bird observation tower at water's edge.

The Freshkills Park Talks series continues this month with Jerome Chou and Grace Tang from landscape architecture and urban design firm Field Operations.  They’ll be discussing the ideas behind the Freshkills Park design and the process of transforming a landfill into a 21st century park, including their work on projects scheduled for construction over the next two years.

Freshkills Park Talks: Designing Freshkills Park
May 28th @ 7:30 pm at the Staten Island Museum,
75 Stuyvesant Place (a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal)

May 13, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Ed Toth on native plants and NYC ecology

Last Thursday’s installment of the Freshkills Park Talks lecture series was terrific.  Ed Toth, Director of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center (GNPC), discussed the importance of floral biodiversity in urban settings, the GNPC’s history and operations–it’s one of the only municipal native plant providers in the country, if not the only one–and several citywide initiatives it’s taken on recently, including the Great Pollinator Project.  Ed also outlined two GNPC projects that will be part of the North Park section of Freshkills Park: a founder seed farm and a pot-in-pot tree nursery.  The audio clips below offer some choice segments of his talk.  They’re each 4-5 minutes long.  An audio-less PDF of his full presentation is available here.

nativeplants1Clip 1: The need for sustainable ecosystems and the value of natively adapted, genetically diverse species.

seed1Clip 2: The GNPC’s founder seed operation and the push to supply regionally native seed.

potinpot_nurseryClip 3: The GNPC’s role at North Park, actively and visibly initiating a process to heal the landscape.

Next month’s talk, “Designing Freshkills Park,” will be given by Jerome Chou and Grace Tang, landscape architects at Field Operations, who will discuss the ideas behind the Freshkills Park design and their work on the first park projects, including North Park.

April 30, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Next Freshkills Park Talk: Thursday, April 23rd

The Freshkills Park Talks series continues this Thursday with a talk by Ed Toth, Director of the Parks Department’s Greenbelt Native Plant Center.  The GNPC’s mission is to supply New York City’s natural areas with native plants and seeds from local plant populations.  Ed will be discussing the value of locally appropriate planting and detail the Center’s current and future roles in special conservation and reclamation projects.

Key among the GNPC’s upcoming projects will be an 800-tree pot-in-pot nursery and a seven-acre Founder Seed farm in the first section of North Park, to be developed at Freshkills Park within the next two years.  See images of North Park here.

Freshkills Park Talks: Employing Native Plants in Conservation and Reclamation, Thursday, April 23rd @ 7:30 pm at the Staten Island Museum, 75 Stuyvesant Place (a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal)

programs_collage

April 20, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , | 1 Comment

Dennis Diggins on Fresh Kills Landfill operations

Thanks to everyone who came out to last Thursday’s talk on the history of operations at Fresh Kills.  Dennis Diggins’ fascinating and wide-ranging overview touched on the history of sanitary landfills and the city’s solid waste management system, the evolution of equipment used for transporting, compacting and containing waste, Dennis’ own personal anecdotes about working at Fresh Kills from 1991-2006 (including the sage advice: “Don’t walk with your hands in your pockets in a landfill,” because if you trip and fall your hands are the only things keeping you from falling head first into the trash) and the Department of Sanitation’s tremendous role in the clean-up and investigation of the World Trade Center attack in the days and months following 9/11.

Even working on the Freshkills Park project every day, the details of Dennis’ talk – this latter part especially – were mostly unfamiliar and totally amazing to us.  Sanitation provided lighting, fuel, dust suppression and 50% of the material trucking from Ground Zero.  1000 Sanitation workers cleaned up Wall Street the weekend after 9/11 to allow business to resume.  Dennis was clearly proud of his staff’s work – he called it “awe inspiring.”  More than one person remarked afterward that we need an oral history project like StoryCorps to interview the Sanitation workers involved in Fresh Kills operations and in the 9/11 recovery effort to record their stories for posterity.  We think so too.

dennis-and-slide

Next month’s talk will be given by Ed Toth, Director of the Greenbelt Native Plant Center, who will discuss the value of locally appropriate planting and detail the Center’s role in special conservation and reclamation projects around the city, including Freshkills Park.  April 23rd, 7:30 pm at the Staten Island Museum, just a short walk from the St. George Ferry Terminal.

March 31, 2009 Posted by | FKP | , , , , | Leave a comment

Next Freshkills Park Talk: Thursday, March 26

landfill

An archival photo of Fresh Kills Landfill during its operating peak.

Please join us for a talk on the history of landfill operations at the former Fresh Kills Landfill.  Dennis Diggins, Deputy Director, Bureau of Waste Disposal at NYC Department of Sanitation, will discuss the history of waste management at New York City’s former landfill.  Part of our monthly lecture series.  No RSVP required.

Thursday, March 26th, 2009 7:30 pm @ The Staten Island Museum, 75 Stuyvesant Place (a short walk from the Ferry Terminal)

Contact : (212) 788-8277 or martha.powers@parks.nyc.gov

For current and upcoming Freshkills Park events, please check under the Tours & Programs tab on our official City homepage.

March 2, 2009 Posted by | events | , , , | Leave a comment