6. Forest Park

Forest Park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted

Forest Park, the third-largest in Queens, was originally known as Brooklyn Forest Park since the park in 1895 was located in Brooklyn. Stranahan, the “Father of Prospect Park,” originally envisioned a park extending from Park Slope to Jamaica, which was nearly impossible with the city’s rapid urbanization. In 1896, the firm Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot was contracted to provide a plan for the park.

Frederick Law Olmsted surveyed the park and helped design Forest Park Drive. In order to go through with construction plans, residential buildings were for the most part removed from the property. The park was built to feature Strack Pond, which was buried in 1966 and restored four decades later. Preserving the area’s foliage was an important concern for Olmsted’s firm, and today, over 100 species of migratory birds visit the park yearly.