Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday announced a plan to create a 407-acre state park on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, which would be the largest state park in New York City. As a part of the $1.4 billion “Vital Brooklyn” initiative, the park would add much-needed green space in the Central Brooklyn neighborhood, an area the governor has described as a “park desert.” Formerly the site of two landfills, the open space will be converted into parkland with opportunities for biking, hiking, fishing, kayaking, as well as educational facilities and an amphitheater.
new york state parks
Riverbank State Park. Image via Dattner Architects
In a city that moves so fast that the Sunday edition of the New York Times comes out on Saturday, it is not surprising that New Yorkers might overlook some interesting factoids. For instance, New York City is home seven state parks! So, instead of enjoying a day inside other state parks filled with the ubiquitous lush greenery and a plethora of activities that might surely mean a couple of hours of driving—cityside state parks are but a subway ride away or possibly a short walk to the likes of the East River State Park on Kent Avenue in Williamsburg, the Clay Pit Ponds State Park in Staten Island and the Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx.
One of the most popular, with its grassy stretches of pastoral idyll against a spectacular backdrop, is the 28-acre Riverbank State Park near 143rd Street (seen in the two images above). A multi-level facility set 69 feet above the Hudson River on Riverside Drive, it opened in 1993. What’s more, this park is the only one of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Inspired by Japan’s urban rooftop designs, it was created on top of a now-odorless sewage treatment facility on the Hudson.