5. Spring Creek Park (Howard Beach, Queens)
Spring Creek Park in Howard Beach has the “largest amount of undeveloped land and wetlands in the northern Jamaica Bay area,” according to the NYC Parks Department. We have to thank Robert Moses for these untouched waterfront areas, which he acquired through condemnation in 1938 as part of the development of the Belt Parkway, which included the Shore Parkway. Before this, the area was an illegal dumping ground and host to noxious industrial activities. The salt march of Spring Creek Park plays host to a diversity of wildlife. Birdlife, including egrets, great blue herons, mallard ducks, pheasants, and wildlife like muskrats, deer and raccoons abound.