Forest Park Preserve
Habitat Type: Forest
The Forest Park Preserve, in the eastern section of Forest Park is home to some of the last truly, undisturbed forest in New York City. This dense, mature oak forest is the largest continuous wooded area in Queens and contains many trees over 150 years old. Along with towering oaks and a full compliment of hickory species (mockernut, pignut, bitternut, and shagbark), an understory of flowering dogwoods, mapleleaf viburnum, and a diverse herb layer on the forest floor complete the forest ecosystem. The age and quality of this forest make it an ideal spot for birding, especially during the fall and spring migrations, when rarities such as cerulean, yellow-throated, and mourning warblers can be spotted.
Forest Park Preserve is also the location of a freshwater wetland restoration by Parks’ Natural Resources Group. This spring, the Strack Pond restoration was completed and the site was re-dedicated in honor of Private First Class Lawrence George E. Strack (1948-1967), the first Woodhaven resident to die serving in the Vietnam War. The Strack Pond project restored a kettle pond that formed as the last glacier withdrew from our region twenty thousand years ago. Small kettle ponds teeming with emergent plants and shrubs once dotted the landscape of Forest Park, providing habitat for unique wildlife including salamanders, frogs, birds and other animals. This habitat restoration brings back these invaluable natural resources and goes further. The new construction includes a walking trail and viewing areas, making Strack Pond an important educational resource, and a prime site for bird, butterfly, and dragonfly enthusiasts. Visitors to the site routinely see red-tailed hawks, great blue herons, and great egrets, which are supported by the newly restored and diverse ecosystem.
By Subway: East section of park- J train to Woodhaven Blvd and Jamaica Avenue or 102nd Street. Transfer to Q 11 (directions below).
Or take E or F train to Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens, transfer to Q 37 (directions below).
West Section of park- J train to Forest Parkway and Jamaica Avenue. Walk northeast on Forest Parkway to Forest Park Drive. Bus: Q 11 bus runs north-south along Woodhaven/Cross Bay Blvd and between Hroace Harding Expressway and Jamaica Bay. Take this bus to Forest Park Drive. The B 55 bus runs west-east along Myrtle Avenue between Linden Street and 117th street. Take bus to Park Lane South. Q 37 runs north-south between Union Turnpike exit. Left on Markwood Place/Park Lane or continue along Park Lane South to Myrtle Avenue.
By Car: East section of park- Van Wyck Expressway south to Union Turnpike exit. Left on Markwood Place/Park Lane. Enter park drive near the Overlook.
West Section of park- Interborough Parkway south to Forest Park Drive exit. Left onto Park Drive.