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March 23, 2004

 - Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary, DCP (212) 720-3471
 - Candace Damon, Director Fresh Kills Outreach, Hamilton, Rabinovitz & Alschuler 646-489-5555


Public Asked to Take Instrumental Role in Planning New York’s New Parkland Fresh Kills

March 23, 2004 – Three years ago yesterday, the last barge of New York City’s trash was unloaded at the Fresh Kills landfill. Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 24th, 2004, the first public meeting for the Fresh Kills Master Planning Process will be held from 7pm - 9pm at the Holy Trinity St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1641 Richmond Avenue in Staten Island, City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden announced. In September 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the official kick-off of the $3.38-million Master Plan process to map out the future of the 2,200-acre Fresh Kills site on Staten Island. The two-year process will, result in a blueprint for transforming the former landfill into world class multi-use parkland. The City will seek the public’s input in all aspects of the plan, including the site’s future name. The Department of City Planning is the lead agency on the project, and Field Operations, a landscape architecture and urban design firm founded by James Corner, is overseeing the multi-disciplinary team that will translate the aspirations of the public into an ambitious Master Plan.

Since September, the team has been studying the landfill site to better understand its systems and ecology and to analyze local traffic patterns and identify types of recreation and other complementary activities—many of them unusual in the City—that would be feasible at Fresh Kills. Members of the team have also met with leaders of local and regional civic groups to begin to identify local concerns and goals for the site.

At the public meeting, the team will present concept drawings and a broad palette of ideas and opportunities to elicit their input in the design process. Director Burden said, "I encourage everyone to participate in this great project of renewal. The public planning process will be engaging and the community’s vital role in shaping the park cannot be overstated. The City is committed to working with the public to make a visionary master plan for Fresh Kills a reality for all to enjoy."

Suggestions for recreation at Fresh Kills include field and court sports, golf, boating, a nature preserve, bikeways/greenways and horseback riding trails. Because the site offers varied topography and is very large—roughly 3.5 square miles or 2.5 times the size of Central Park—many diverse programs are possible. Several community leaders interviewed by the team have also said that upgrading or creating roads through the future park that will link Richmond Avenue and the West Shore Expressway will benefit residents by alleviating traffic congestion around the site. The Field Operations team has developed a preliminary road design for discussion at the public meeting.

It is projected that some areas of Fresh Kills could begin redevelopment for public use upon completion of environmental reviews in 2007; some interim or smaller facilities may even be feasible before that date. Eventually, through construction in stages, the site will be reborn as a vast, continuous parkland made up of recreational facilities, event spaces, restaurants, unusual settings for activities, natural habitat areas, and a September 11 memorial, all served by networks of bikeways, boatways, trails, and park drives.

This first public meeting will be followed by a series of Community Design Workshops this spring focusing on uses that the community might want for early development. The City also anticipates regularly scheduled public site tours to introduce everyone to the beauty and complexity of this exceptional place. For more information, visit

About City Planning:
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.

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