5. Freshkills Park is a New Haven for Wildlife

Birds nest
Image courtesy The City of New York and Freshkills Park by Daniel Avila

A grim statistic by the Freshkills Park Alliance reveals that less than 1% of original grasslands remain in the Northeast. This makes it even more imperative for New York City to conserve the natural beauty of Freshkills, which includes not only creeks and wetlands, but expansive meadows that serve as home to many plants and animals.

The mounds of the Fresh Kills Landfill have since been covered by a cap and seeded with native plants, and the engineered meadows at Freshkills Park are providing a vital habitat to many grassland bird species, including the bobolink, swallows, sparrows, buntings, and warblers. Since the landfill’s closure, more than 200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians have been sighted there. The New York Times also writes that the new habitat has attracted nearly a dozen species of animals considered to be rare in New York City. Among other wildlife, the grasshopper sparrow, regarded as a “species of concern,” has returned to the site.