New York City Urban Field Station

Featured Partnership

Learn more about how our social science has been used by the Freshkills team by visiting the Freshkills Park Alliance website

Featured Publication

Vogt, Christine A.; Klenosky, David B.; Snyder, Stephanie A. ; Campbell, Lindsay K. 2015. Resident support for a landfill-to-park transformation. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. 33(4): 32-50.

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Freshkills: Landfill to Park Conversion

Attitudes Towards and Intentions to Visit Freshkills Park

[photo:] Kayakers in Freshkills Park. Photo courtesy of the City of New York.In 2009, Urban Field Station (UFS) staff began collaborative research projects with Freshkills Park, which is currently the largest landfill- to- park conversion in the world. With the help of UFS and Freshkills Park staff at NYC Parks Department, David Klenosky of Purdue University is leading a large- scale study of Staten Island (SI) residents' attitudes towards the park entitled, "Attitudes Towards and Intentions to Visit Freshkills Park." Building off his previous work in the Chicago area, the goal is to better understand how SI residents feel about the current public parks and outdoor recreation areas on SI and about the plans to transform the former Fresh Kills Landfill site into Freshkills Park. Research conducted to date has provided only a general understanding of attitudes and concerns about visiting and using Freshkills Park. 

  • The research by Klenosky and his colleagues provides important baseline data for documenting the degree to which behaviors and attitudes change during the evolution of the Freshkills site. Download the final report here (4 mb pdf).
  • Using data from this study, students in the 2012 Columbia University Master of Science in Sustainability Management Capstone Workshop developed a communications strategy (8 mb pdf) to address public health concerns surrounding Freshkills Park.

Legacies of the Dump

[photo:] The former Fresh Kills landfill. Photo courtesy of the City of New York. "Legacies of the Dump," is a qualitative research project coordinated locally by Urban Field Station and Freshkills Park staff . It is using focus groups with senior citizens and young adults (ages 18-24) to understand Staten Island residents' memories of the former landfill and their fears about -- and interest in -- using the future Freshkills Park.  The focus groups specifically seek information about participants’ emotions and attitudes towards Fresh Kills Landfill , their knowledge about the future Freshkills Park, their attitudes towards contaminated site reuse at Fresh Kills and in general, and their attitudes towards the City of New York and the process of conversion from landfill to park.

Related Publications

Klenosky, David B.; Snyder, Stephanie A.; Vogt, Christine A.; Campbell, Lindsay K. 2017. If we transform the landfill, will they come? Predicting visitation to Freshkills Park in New York City. Landscape and Urban Planning. 167: 315-324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2017.07.011.

Vogt, Christine A.; Klenosky, David B.; Snyder, Stephanie A. ; Campbell, Lindsay K. 2015. Resident support for a landfill-to-park transformation. Journal of Park and Recreation Administration. 33(4): 32-50.

Zalesny, R.S. Jr.; Hallett, R.A.; Falxa-Raymond, N.; Wiese, A.H.; Birr, B.A. 2014. Propagating native Salicaceae for afforestation and restoration in New York City’s five boroughs. Native Plants Journal 15:29-41.

Zalesny, R.S. Jr. 2012. Using phytotechnologies to improve ecosystem services in urban areas. In: 2012 Annual Conference of the American Society of Consulting Arborists; November 28-December 1, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA.

Zalesny, R.S. Jr. 2012. Improving ecosystem services via phytotechnologies in urban areas. In: Indiana Urban Forest Council Summer Workshop; July 18, 2012; Terre Haute, IN.

Zalesny, R.S. Jr.; Hallett, R.; Falxa-Raymond, N.; Grassi, C. 2012. Improving ecosystem health and functioning through phytotechnologies at Freshkills Park, Staten Island, New York, USA. In: 9th Conference of the International Phytotechnology Society: Phytotechnologies – Plant-based Strategies to Clean Water, Soil, Air and Provide Ecosystem Services; September 11-14, 2012; Hasselt, University, Diepenbeek, Belgium.

Klenosky, David B.; Snyder, Stephanie; Vogt, Christine A.; Campbell, Lindsay; Svendsen, Erika S.; Schroeder, Herbert W.; Flanagan, Rich; Popper, Deborah. 2012. 2011 Staten Island/Freshkills Parks resident survey: data report. Unpublished report. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 62 p.