It looks like Staten Island’s Freshkills Park may be getting a recreational makeover some time in the near future. As reported by SILive, the Parks Department has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the former landfill area. If a private investor shows interest, it could mean that the reclaimed park could be used for more organized recreational activities such as golfing or even hot air ballooning.
Formerly the world’s largest landfill, Freshkills is almost three times the size of Central Park and is currently in the midst of a major landfill reclamation project. Although the massive restoration is slated to last for thirty years, James Corner Field Operations began work on reforming the park back in 2006.
Over the course of that time, there has been much deliberation over the future of the park, with some wishing to maintain the natural state of the 2,039-acre space, which has become a pristine haven for wildlife. Others see a more activity-driven future for the expansive park.
“As Freshkills Park emerges as the largest park developed by New York City in more than 100 years, it has limitless potential for ideas to activate its sites for public use,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said in a statement.
Regardless of what the future may hold for Freshkills, it looks like the Parks Department’s decision to issue the RFEI was primarily financial driven. According to SILive, Borough President James Oddo argued that private investment could help pay for the park’s maintenance costs.
“I believe it is important that the private sector takes a look at the property, and uses their creativity and vision to provide the types of amenities that Staten Islanders need and want and that they can uniquely provide,” Oddo said in a statement. “Freshkills must become all that it was promised to be, and this is only possible through public-private partnerships.”
All images © Leonel Lima Ponce for Inhabitat