Field Operations turns world’s formerly biggest landfill into a water park

The first phase of North Park, in the area formerly occupied by the gigantic New York’s landfill in Staten Island, has been opened to the public.

In New York City’s so-called “fifth borough” lies Freshkills: a 2,200-acre site just across the New Jersey Canal that was once the world's largest landfill. Local landscape firm Field Operations has unveiled the first phase of North Park here. This first part is a strip of land that connects the pre-existing Schmul Playground and the surrounding neighborhood to the park’s inner wetland.

Freshkills, Staten Istland, 1970. Photo Chester Higgins Jr., Wikimedia Commons

When completed, Freshkills Park will be three times the size of Central Park and include spaces for active and passive recreation, event spaces, and miles of trails.

“This is an exciting moment in the evolving life of Freshkills, marking a significant new public access, ecological renewal and social amenity,” said James Corner, founding partner of Field Operations. “Once people enter the heart of the site, they will be astounded by the extraordinary scale and character of the larger park, with its palpable sense of nature, expansive views and opportunities for exploration.”

The portion currently open to the public features a gently curving central path bordered by seven acres of native seedbeds, picnic lawns, and groves of trees. The site gradually widens as it moves toward Main Creek, ending with an observation platform and bird-watching tower overlooking the surrounding wetlands.

Field Operations, Freshkills Park, Staten Island, New York. Courtesy Field Operations

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