Monday, May 10, 2010

Judyta Banach Activity#10

For the last activity, our class went to a trip to Staten Island to Freshkills Park. The park, at 2, 200 acres will be the biggest park in New York City and it is a project that will continue for the next 30 years. The important part of the Freshkills Park is that it is being developed on the biggest landfill and that is one of the reasons why the creation of the park will take so many years.
We were picked from Staten Island ferry by our tour guide. Although I have been in Staten Island many times I never knew about the development of this park. As I learned during our trip, the final closing of the landfill was on March of 2001. Although people living in there oppose the idea of having the landfill next to their houses, it took many years until the city decided to close the dump area. As we all know, the same year that the landfill was closed, terrible tragedy happened in September. The cause of it was that the waste disposal was re- opened because the city had to take all the rubble from Ground Zero.
The Freshkills Park that used to be a flat and wet land, now has many high picks in its landscape. They are divided into North, South, West, and East. The West Park is the area where the 9/11 rubble was taken, and in the honor of those people that bodies have not been recover, the memorial will be created. Standing on the North mountain, out tour guide made as realize that we were standing on tons of garbage that was being hidden under many layers of soil that serve as protection barrier. The gases that are being produced by all the waste and that are dangerous for the environment are cleaned and reused in many houses in Staten Island.
The Freshkills Park will not only serve as a recreation land, but also as a home to many birds and other animals. There are already visible traces of birds migrating and settling in the park. Some of the attractions that are going to be offer by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation are biking, kayaks, and even cross-country skiing during the winter season.
Although the whole project is going to take many years, the city plans to open some of the park to the public in three or four years. This trip taught me many interesting things and also made me realize more how because waste takes so long to decompose, it destroys the nature around us. The sad thing is that the landfill in Staten Island was closed, but the garbage from the neighborhood is being taken to North Carolina landfill, where it destroys their land.

I also attached picture of the landfill and one picture of how the park will look like in the future.



    Wow, there are an insane amount of birds in the bottom picture. I believe they might be scavengers and I think that some of the items they pick up can potentially get them diseased. The contrast between the two pictures are a striking "before and after". It really shows how we are fixing our mistakes and how effective the fixing is even if the land may never really be 100% the same. Hopefully it will revive itself in 100 years to be what it used to be before the waste. However, it will probably not be the same because even if it is going to be a park land...there will still be some pollution and damage from us which is unfortunate.

  2. I am really glad that landfill in Staten Island have changed into Freshkills Park. By looking at your picture, I feel really sorry for people who once and still use to live in Staten Island with that amount of the birds.