Monday, July 30, 2007

Former Landfills Near Starrett City Set to Become Parks

If you've ever been on the Belt Parkway, perhaps you've noticed the big hills along Jamaica Bay near Starrett City that don't seem to be natural parts of the landscape. If you've ever thought that they look like capped landfills, well, they are. (And if you're a longtime resident you actually remember when they were active landfills.) Here's the latest detail from the Bay Ridge Courier:
Two giant mountains of rotting garbage in Brooklyn are being converted into remarkably beautiful public parks.

The former Pennsylvania Avenue and Fountain Avenue landfills, just south of the Belt Parkway near Starrett City, are the subjects of a $230 million makeover.

Recently, neighborhood residents and stakeholders were given a rare “sneak peak” at the two colossal sites...According to construction manager Nayan Shah of the city’s Department of Environmental Protection, the 100-acre Penn Park is on track to open in the fall of 2009.

Its big sister, the sprawling 300-acre Fountain Park, is a year behind and could be unveiled to the public in the fall of 2010, pending state approval. The parks will become part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, which is managed by the National Parks Service. The Department of Environmental Protection is describing the project as “ecological restoration.”
Back in the 1980s, there were reports of PCB issues at the landfills because of illegal dumping, including oil, that had gone on. Regardless, there are said to be great views from the top of the, uh, man made mountains. And, if you're interested in a WNYC report on the landfill parks from earlier this year, click here.
[Image courtesy of Berger World]



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