New 407-acre state park slated for Brooklyn’s former landfills

New year, new state park.

The state of New York, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) and the city, is working to establish a new 407-acre state park in Brooklyn on Jamaica Bay, a push announced in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2018 State of the State which would provide crucial new open space access to one of the state’s most underserved areas.

According to Cuomo, the new state park complements New York’s efforts to build 34 new or improved pocket parks, community gardens, playgrounds and rec centers within a 10-minute walk for every central Brooklyn resident.

“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,” Cuomo said. “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.”

Image courtesy of Flickr/New York State Parks
Image courtesy of Flickr/New York State Parks

The 407-acre site, which has never been open to the public, includes the former Pennsylvania Avenue Landfill and Fountain Avenue Landfill, which were operated by the New York City Department of Sanitation from 1956-1983 and deeded to the National Park Service as part of Gateway National Recreation Area in 1974. In 2002, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection began a $235 million site remediation that included the installation of an impermeable cap and below-ground barrier to support future use.

The state has signed preliminary agreements with NPS. Upon a final agreement, phase one of the capital project is expected to commence in 2019 with $15 million in state investment funding.

The park will feature opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking and waterfront environmental education, and will include restrooms, shade structures and concessions.

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