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Discovery Week @ Home, a Virtual Tour at Freshkills Park

It is time to break the lockdown almost all over the world. If somebody is still afraid or prefers to be prudent, there is a great opportunity to virtually visit Freshkills Park, one of the most important environmental habitats in the city.

This year, Freshkills Park has taken their annual Discovery Day virtual, and the Freshkills Park team is excited to host activities and experiences created by the team and community partners. Throughout the week, you can learn more about the history, wildlife, recreation, education, and art at the park through virtual experiences. Whether you are near or far, join the first “Discovery Week @ Home” from June 22nd to June 26th.

A vue of the Park, source

All activities and performances are completely free! As the week goes on, all Virtual Discovery Week content will be posted to the park's social media channels and website for easy access.

About Freshkills Park

After serving as NYC’s landfill for over fifty years, the Freshkills Park site is now one of the most important environmental habitats in the city. With capping and protective systems, the closed landfill has become a new engineered landscape. Wildlife are already responding to the environmental changes. Birds, fish, and mammals are thriving in the creeks and grasslands. As the park has been built in phases, free tours and events have provided early access for learning and exploration. In person tours and events will resume when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, you can join the fun and visit the park via a virtual experience of the transformation!

The interactive map from Freshkills Park's website


22 June - Monday: The day will start with a walk up North Mound with a special tour of the construction at North Park, which is part of Phase 1. Visitors will see the progress on building the arc path, the connection to Schmul Park, and the foundations of the bird tower and the wetland observation deck as well as learn more about what the construction entails.

23 June - Tuesday: This will be Arts & Culture Day as artist and teacher, James Powers, will lead landscape drawing exercises on the North Mound. Later, visitors can attend a screening of Nancy Nowacek’s Fieldwork, a piece created for and performed in Freshkills Park. Filmed in 360-video, the work offers viewers the ability to explore the park, as dancers perform choreographies of work related to the production of objects and goods that ultimately became part of the waste buried at the former Fresh Kills Landfill.

24 June - Wednesday: This day will concentrate on Wildlife & Research, and visitors will have a glimpse of the thriving range of birds and animals found at the park. You can check out a recording taken at one of Freshkills Park’s Osprey nests with chicks, watch the Red Fox camera footage for a snapshot of some of the larger mammals that call Freshkills Park home, or join a Facebook live birdwatching walk around East Mound with environmentalist and educator, Cliff Hagen. For more birds and nature, download and listen to the sounds of North Mound and East Mound every morning at sunrise and evening at sunset.

25 June - Thursday: Each day, park visitors can witness how ecology, engineering, design, history, and social sciences interact to solve 21st century challenges. On this day, you can take a STEAM Challenge with Freshkills Park! These challenges use only recycled and basic materials you would have at home and will teach you more about the environment at Freshkills Park.

We all love parks, but where do parks come from? You can learn all about how parks are created by registering your 8-12 year olds for the ‘Be a Park Planner’ virtual field trip. Younger kids, from 6-8, can learn all about wetlands by participating in the park's ‘All about Wetlands’ virtual field trip to Freshkills Park.

26 June - Friday: The final day will be dedicated to Recreation & Fitness. Freshkills Park provides for numerous recreational opportunities, and so visitors will experience the natural and engineered landscapes and recreational offerings of Freshkills Park with immersive videos. Experience the water, sun and blue sky while someone else paddles! Take a serene 3-mile bike ride around East Mound, which is now a vital nesting habitat for the endangered Grasshopper Sparrow. End the week with a run through the hills of South Mound. South Mound was the first mound capped and offers views of all the major habitats at the park.

All virtual events and activities will be posted to Freshkills' website from June 22nd through June 26th and will be free of charge.

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