Evergreen Park Preserve
Borough: Staten Island
Habitat Type: Forest
Although this park’s name suggests a coniferous forest, Evergreen Park is primarily a pin (Quercus palustris) and red oak (Quercus rubra) forest and contains no evergreens. Evergreen Park is a mix of a wide variety of habitats for its small size including forest, freshwater wetlands, and ponds. Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) and lady-slipper orchids (Cypripedium reginae), (thriving in the early months of spring before the thick canopy fills in) grow in the understory. White (Quercus alba) and black oaks (Quercus velutina) and hickories (Carya spp.) are scattered about the canopy, which shades a rich ground cover containing nine species of fern.
The upland dips into an oblong marsh, rich with swamp loosestrife (Decodon verticillatus) duckweed ( Lemna minor) and watermeal (Wolffia spp.). Evergreen Park supports a large mix of wildlife, including great-blue heron (Ardea herodias), green heron (Butorides virescens), mallards (Anus platyrhynchos), red-winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) and spring peepers (Hyla crucifer) in the wetlands. The forest also provides habitat to a variety of species including the migratory yellow warbler (Dendroica petechia).
Public Transit: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the Staten Island Railroad from the St. George terminal and get off at the Bay Terrace stop. Walk northwest on Bay Terrace toward Amboy Road. Make a left on Amboy Road and then a right on Fawn Lane. Make a right on Timber Ridge and then a left on Evergreen. An entrance to the preserve is located at Evergreen where it intersects Corbin and Redwood Avenues.
The S78 and S79 travel on Hylan Boulevard. Get off at Bay Terrace and walk northwest (away from Great kills Park) to Amboy Road. Then follow the directions from above.
By Car: Hylan Blvd is accessible from the Staten Island Expressway (278) from Brooklyn. Take the first exit off 278 for Narrows Road North and then make a left on Hylan Blvd. Hylan Blvd runs the length of Staten Island’s southeast side. After about 8 miles, make a right on Great Kills Road. Cross Amboy Road and make a right on Dewey Ave. The preserve is on your right. Make a right on Corbin Ave and an entrance to the preserve is at Corbin and Redwood Ave.