Parks needed Commission’s authorization to develop Phase 1 of Freshkills’ North Park. The City Planning Commission granted the Department of Parks and Recreation’s request for authorization to alter natural features in Staten Island to facilitate the development of Phase 1 of Freshkills Park’s North Park. Freshkills Park, described as a “natural wonder” by Chair Amanda M. Burden at a review session special presentation, will be a naturally vegetated park built over the former Fresh Kills Landfill on the western shore of Staten Island.
In 2001 the City closed the Fresh Kills Landfill. Five years later the City released a draft master plan for Freshkills Park. The 2,200-acre park will be nearly three times the size of Central Park and the largest park developed in the City in the last century. Freshkills Park will comprise five main areas: North Park; South Park; East Park; West Park; and a central area on the north and south sides of Fresh Kills Creek, known as the Confluence. The park will be developed in phases over the next 30 years, and each area will have a distinct character and programming.
North Park will encompass 233 acres adjacent to the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge and the neighborhood of Travis. Phase I of North Park will include approximately 20 acres. North Park will feature meadows, wetland areas, and creeks, with paths leading visitors to recreational activities. Scenic overlooks and space for picnicking and birdwatching will also be provided.
A 2.8-acre portion of North Park Phase I is subject to the City’s Special Natural Area District regulations. In 1975 the City created the Special Natural Area District regulations to help preserve unique natural features in parts of the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. The special district regulations required Parks to obtain authorization from the Commission to alter natural features before proceeding with the park’s development.
CPC: Fresh Kills Park North Park Phase I (N 090409 ZAR – authorization) (June 7, 2011).