Parks Land Tops 30,000 Acres as Former Staten Island Landfill Reopens as Brookfield Park
It's taken $250 million, but the former Superfund site at Brookfield Avenue has become a new park and pushed the total amount of NYC Parks land over 30,000 acres. This is the largest expansion of Parks land in over 100 years.
Staten Islanders have lived for decades with both the Fresh Kills landfill and the cleanup effort it caused, but now they are free to frolic on the reclaimed land.
Formerly the world's largest landfill, Fresh Kills is in the midst of a 30-year plan to contain the remaining toxic refuse and make the 2,200 acres safe again for humans, plants, and wildlife. The Brookfield Avenue site was added in 1966 to receive trash trucks, while the Fresh Kills lots received barges of trash from across the city.
The opening of the 258 acre Brookfield Park comes after reclamation efforts have sealed the former Brookfield Avenue landfill, ensuring that no chemicals leach into the environment. A layer of new soil is added on top so native plantlife can safely become established. While the park contains various marshes, wetlands, fields, and ponds, it is still a work in progress, and will be further developed with park facilities in the future.
30,000 acres of land would equal about 5,500 Manhattan city blocks.