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Freshkills Park

Staten Island, New York

Aerial of Freshkills Park site

Aerial View of Freshkills Park site

Freshkills Park will be the largest park developed in New York City since the 19th century, turning what was once the world’s largest landfill into a sustainable and public green space. The site spans 2,200 acres, nearly three times as large as Central Park. New York City turned the former wetland into a landfill in 1948 and by 1955, was the world’s largest. The site closed under local pressure with support from the EPA and stopped accepting trash at the beginning of 2001, but reopened to accept debris following the events of September 11. 

In 2001, the New York City Department of City Planning held a design competition to find a landscape architecture firm to design the park. In 2003, Field Operations was selected and hired to produce the master plan that was released in 2006.  

When renovation began in 2008, Freshkills Park was sectioned off into five different spaces—the Confluence (the link of all four parks), South Park, East Park, West Park, and North Park. Each space will have different primary areas, programming, and recreational activities. Since 2012, Schmul Park, Main Creek Wetland Restoration, Owl Hollow Fields, and the New Springville Greenway have all reached completion and are open to the public. Much of the park is still in design or planning stages, like South Park and East Park, respectively. North Park is now in Phase 1 of construction and is expected to open in 2020. The park is expected to reach completion in 2036.