Genesee Park, like the avenue to its south, takes its name from the Iroquois phrase “Zon-esche-o” which means “beautiful valley.” The Genesee River Valley, between Lake Seneca and Lake Erie, marked the western boundary of the Iroquois nations. The unofficial designation was mapped when the area became a new county in 1802. Genesee County has since been subdivided, but the name still figures prominently throughout a large part of upstate New York. Many companies and streets throughout New York State bear the name of Genesee. A development company called Eltingville Acres laid out Staten Island’s Genesee Avenue.
Located in a residential area of Staten Island just above the Korean War Veterans Parkway, this park is bounded by Genesee Avenue, Drumgoole Road East, and Annadale Road. Drumgoole Road is named for the Reverend John Christopher Drumgoole who in 1883 founded St. Vincent's Home for Homeless Newsboys. His 524-acre seaside farm at Mount Loretto was in operation as a foster-care facility for disadvantaged children for 111 years. Since 1994, it has functioned primarily as a community center. Annadale Road is one of many local places that bear the name of Anna S. Seguine (b.1828 – 1901 ?) who was married to Stephen Seguine (b. 1823 ? – d. 1866), treasurer of the Staten Island Railroad. After the Staten Island Railroad named a station in her honor, the general vicinity adopted the name as well.
The City acquired this triangular property in 1961 as a part of land purchases for the Richmond Parkway (now the Korean War Veterans Parkway) and area residents began to use the land as an unofficial play area. Parks gained jurisdiction in May 1964. Commissioner Stern named it Genesee Park in 1998.
The park is a small wilderness, containing trees, ivy, and phragmites (phragmites australis). This common reed grows to a height of approximately 12” in reddish-silver tufted panicles. It has an invasive nature, often replacing other marsh plants. The reed’s spiked flowers bloom from August to September, usually in standing brackish or fresh water as one finds in a marsh. A variety of local flora and fauna flourish the largely undisturbed ecosystem of Genesee Park.