Idlewild Park Preserve
Habitat Type: Grassland, Salt Marsh, Freshwater Wetland
Idlewild Park is located northeast of John F. Kennedy International Airport and is bounded by Rockaway Boulevard, Springfield Boulevard, and 149th Avenue in Queens County, New York. The Park’s 160 acres contain freshwater and tidal wetlands, woodland, meadow, and grassland dune-scrub habitat. The park contains two meandering tributaries of Hook Creek, which feeds into Jamaica Bay. Much of the marsh habitat around Hook Creek is of high quality and is managed for the protection of colonial wading birds, which breed locally on rookery islands. The marsh provides essential habitat for foraging by egrets, ibis, and herons, which make up 25% of the northeast Atlantic population.
A significant amount of the associated upland is filled historical wetland and restoration of the wetlands at Idlewild Park has been ongoing for nearly a decade. Several joint projects between Parks’ Natural Resources Group (NRG) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection have been completed including the restoration of 23 acres of woodland, wetland, meadow, and dune-scrub communities (1997 to 1999) and a 3-acre tidal wetland and shrubland/grassland restoration project (1999-2003). A pending NRG project to restore additional salt marsh following the excavation of an earthen dike and replacement of deteriorated steel culvert pipes is awaiting confirmation of funding.
Idlewild is located South of Brookville Park, off Brookville Blvd in the Brookville/Rosedale neighborhoods of southeastern Queens.
Public Transit: Take the Long Island Railroad to the Rosedale. Cross Sunrise Highway and walk south on 243rd Street. Make a right on 147th Ave and a left on 235th St. The entrance to Idlewild is at the end of 235th St. where it meets 149th Ave. This is a little over a half mile walk.
By Car: Take 27 (Sunrise Highway) east toward Long Island. Turn right onto Brookville Blvd and travel south to 149th Ave. Make a right on 149th Ave and the entrance to the park is on 235th Street.
From the Belt Parkway going east, take exit 23 and merge onto Conduit Ave heading east. Turn right onto Brookville Boulevard and follow directions above from 27.