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The Park That Garbage Built

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The closure of Staten Island’s Fresh Kills landfill in 2001 gave city officials a poetic opportunity to turn what was once the world’s largest dump into an unprecedented kind of park. The 2,200-acre expanse, which is being built atop 150 million tons of trash, already has a playground and soccer field, with a greenway for off-road bicycling set to open in 2014. When it’s fully completed (around 2035), the trick will be getting denizens from the other four boroughs to come out and play. The park’s administrator, Eloise Hirsh, is confident that with new transportation options, they will. Says Hirsh, “You don’t really get it until you see it.”


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