Friday, April 3, 2009

Central Park? That Tiny Little Thing?

Freshkills Park by freshkills2030.

Whenever you ask a New Yorker that doesn't live on Staten Island what they know about Staten Island, they will invariably refer to Fresh Kills or "The Dump".

Opened in 1948, it would eventually became the largest man-made structure on Earth and a black scar on the Island's reputation. Even today, almost a decade after the landfill site was closed on March 22, 2001, it still haunts Staten Island endlessly.

So why talk about something like this on a blog that wants to show the world that Staten Island is... well, not a dump? Because the Fresh Kills site has already started its transformation, one that will continue for the next 30 or so years, into something that Staten Islanders can be proud of. The site is being reclaimed, returned to nature, and will make Central Park look like the vegetated median from the West Side Highway (pardon me, Joe DiMaggio Highway).

Fresh Kills will be three times the size of Central Park when it is done. That is an incredible achievement considering Staten Island is part of one of the densest populated areas on earth, and will undoubtedly become an asset for future generations of Staten Islanders and New Yorkers alike.

What many of our readers don't know is that the old landfill only makes up about half of the future park's area with the rest remainder containing wetlands, open waterways and unfilled
lowland areas.
According to Newsday, Urban Park Rangers begin guided tours this Saturday.

This article from Landscape and Urbanism also refers to the City's blog on the progress at Fresh Kills and related subjects as well and links us to an interesting graphic series from Popular Science magazine that shows us how Fresh Kills is being reclaimed (a few excerpts here):

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