Parks Department to Host Discovery Day at Former Staten Island Dump

On Sunday, you’ll be able to kayak, hike and bike on what used to be the biggest dump in New York City.

The city Parks Department is holding a Discovery Day at Freshkills Park on Staten Island from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Visitors will be able to kayak, bike, walk and picnic in the 2,200-acre park that was once the site of the Fish Kills Landfill. Shuttles buses will transport visitors to the park from a lot on Wild Avenue and the Staten island Ferry Terminal in St. George.

It’s the second discovery day hosted at the park this year.

The Fresh Kills Landfill opened in 1948 and served as the city’s largest landfill until 2001. At one point, as many as 29,000 tons of trash were dumped at the site each day. The site was also used to sort debris from Ground Zero following the 9/11 terror attacks.

The process to convert the landfill into a park began in 2006. It's expected to be complete by 2036, with a massive green space nearly three times the size of Central Park. The first phase, North Park, is still years from opening. But neighbors are already taking advantage of the piecemeal developments. Martin Martinez said he goes to one paved path every day to get exercise.

"It's much better now," he said. "When you ride through here, it's like riding through a forest. It's beautiful." 

Susan Miccio grew up near the landfill and recalled how "it stunk, I couldn't breathe."

"I waited years for this, and more good things to happen," she said. 

-- John Chandler contributed to this report

Contact Us