Decommissioned landfills in Brooklyn to become 407-acre state park

New York state’s Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a plan on Thursday to create a 407-acre state park in Brooklyn, converting two decommissioned landfills into usable nature for the public. The site is currently owned by the National Park Service and is located along the Jamaica Bay.

“This new state park will be a treasure in the heart of Brooklyn, offering hundreds of acres of beautiful parkland on the shores of Jamaica Bay,” Gov. Cuomo said in the release. “We are committed to ensuring every New Yorker can access the recreational, health and community benefits of open space, and this park will open new doors to wellness for New Yorkers who need it most.”

According to NY Daily News, “In 2002, the city began a seven-year, $235 million project to remediate the site. The work included capping the old landfills, adding more than 1.2 million cubic yards of clean soil and planting more than 35,000 trees and shrubs.”

How the site currently looks. Photo: Courtesy of NY State Parks/Flickr

A rendering of what the above location would look like once converted to the state park. Photo: Courtesy of NY State Parks/Flickr

The National Park Service will continue to own the land, but the State Parks of New York will be responsible for operation the future state park. They will also coordinate with the City of New York, whose Department of Environmental Protection will continue to manage the former landfill infrastructure.

The park would feature opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking and more. With National Park Service approval, phase 1 is expected to fully open in 2019. It would be the largest state park in New York City.

According to the press release, “Later phases will include construction of a connecting bridge between the two sites, dedicated environmental education facilities and an amphitheater, creating a unique and expansive cultural and natural space for the community.”

Chairman of the Jamaica Bay-Rockaway Parks Conservancy Thomas F. Secunda summed up what this means for the residents of the area, “For generations, the residents of central Brooklyn have lacked access to their waterfront and open spaces. Today’s announcement marks a major milestone in the decades-long effort to turn these former landfills into a wonderful new park.”

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