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billyblancoNYC
July 30th, 2003, 07:51 AM
Dump may grow up to be park
*
By BILL FARRELL
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Pennsylvania and Fountain Aves. landfill is covered with plastic liner in preparation for planting. *

The malodorous, toxic and visual nightmare reviled by drivers along the Belt Parkway will soon be transformed into 400 acres of parkland along Jamaica Bay.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection has moved into the final stages of remediation for the Pennsylvania Ave. and Fountain Ave. landfills.

The two landfills are bordered by the Belt Parkway on the north; Jamaica Bay on the south; Fresh Creek on the west; and Spring Creek on the east. Already, the land has been turned over to the National Park Service.

"This is the last element in the process," explained Lee Shelley, chairman of the citizens advisory committee for the project. "This is the culmination of 10 years of hard work."

It also is the start of another 10 to 15 years before the site has been determined safe for use as a park.

"The day is coming when this will be a beautiful park, with hiking and biking trails and a place for people to come and enjoy nature," Shelley said.

"It's taken a while, but we have finally gone from looking at this site [as going] from a landfill to parkland," said Benjamin Gabriel, 71, of Community Board 5. "Some people look out and don't know what's going on out here. The whole idea is to give the community a park and access to the bay."

But before those hills - which rise as high as 90 feet at Pennsylvania Ave. and more than 125 feet at Fountain Ave. - become part of the park, there is still work to be done.

About 40 acres of the Pennsylvania Ave. site already have been covered in plastic. Work crews will start placing the plastic membrane over the Fountain Ave. Landfill next week.

"The name Pennsylvania Avenue Landfill itself is obsolete," DEP project manager Patrick O'Connor said yesterday as he led a tour of nearly 40 community leaders and others through the sites. "The plastic will be covered with topsoil and 75 different species of trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses will be planted."

According to O'Connor, the capping of Pennsylvania Ave. will be finished by spring 2005, and the planting will be completed two years later. Capping and planting at the Fountain Ave. site on the other side of Hendrix Creek will be done one year later, he said.

O'Connor said the Environmental Superfund will pay 75% of the $220 million-plus costs, with the city picking up the remaining 25% of the tab.

The 120-foot-high mountain of what was once garbage offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline, Jamaica Bay and the Verrazano Bridge.

"I'm glad I came," said Barbara Tillman. "I have a difficult time picturing these things. This was very informative."

On Aug. 11, officials from the National Park Service will meet with the same tour group to unveil the model for the park.

Originally published on July 30, 2003

Gulcrapek
July 30th, 2003, 12:11 PM
I was wondering what that was. It looked like rain tarp at a baseball game.

TLOZ Link5
July 30th, 2003, 08:16 PM
Sounds great. *Parkland is always desirable.

So we have Brooklyn Bridge Park, Hudson River Park, the prospective Fresh Kills Park, several new green spaces downtown, the greenway around Manhattan, and now this. *There's probably more that I had omitted because there are so many projects being considered.

We might rival Chicago one day when it comes to abundance of parkland.

Kris
July 30th, 2003, 08:30 PM
You probably do already, in area if not percentage.

Fresh Kills (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/fkl/index.html)

TLOZ Link5
July 30th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Yes, I was referring to the proportion of New York parkland to that of Chicago parkland.

ZippyTheChimp
July 30th, 2003, 09:58 PM
Some data on urban parkland from the Trust for Public Land.

NYC has the most total parkland acreage at 36,646. LA is 2nd
with 30,134. Chicago has 11,676. NYC actually has 50,000 acres, but 15,000 acres of Gateway is federal inaccessable wetlands.

Rankings are for high population density cities:
Percentage of *city land devoted to parks:
1. SF * * 19.8%
2. DC * * 19.3%
3. NY * * 18.9%
11. Chgo * 8.0%
AVG FOR ALL CITIES * *8.8%

Acres per 1000 residents:
10. *NY * 4.6 acres/1000
11. *Chgo 4.0 acres/1000
AVG FOR HIGH DENSITY CITIES *8 acres/1000

Park spending per resident:
Chgo * $131
NY * * $54
AVG FOR ALL CITIES $80

Private donations to park agencies:
NY *$50 million per year.

No one else is even close. Number two is KC at $16 million.
The total for all cities is $116 million.

billyblancoNYC
July 31st, 2003, 10:01 AM
Great numbers, zippy. *I always wondered about that.

Hey, Central Park Conservancy alone probably trumps most other cities.

ZippyTheChimp
July 31st, 2003, 10:50 AM
The number that surprised me is the percentage of parkland in comparison the the national average.

A significant difference is the way parks are funded. NYC allocates far less of budget money to parks than other large cities, and is completely dependant on private aid, which is substantial. Maybe this is a good thing - giving people a sense of ownership.