FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 05, 2012
Parks Cuts The Ribbon On $6.5 Million Schmul Park At Freshkills
“Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s allocation of $6.5 million, we were able to completely reconstruct Schmul Park adding a number of new amenities and a path linking the Travis neighborhood to Freshkills Park,” said Commissioner White.
Borough President James P. Molinaro said, “Staten Island is the Borough of Parks, and Travis is the Neighborhood of Parks. Last year we cut the ribbon for Independence Park, and now we’re opening Schmul Park, which offers residents a variety of recreational opportunities, including a colorful, renovated playground, and handball and basketball courts. Another thing that’s special about this beautiful park is that it serves as an entrance to our biggest park of all, Freshkills Park. I’m very pleased that Travis is getting its fair share of renovations from the Parks Department, and with these active as well as passive parks, the community can enjoy the best of both worlds.”
The $6.5 million project, generously funded by Mayor Bloomberg, includes a brightly-colored playground with new safety surfaces, spray shower, swings, sand box, and new play equipment. The park also includes two new handball courts, basketball courts, an open lawn for lounging and sunning, native plantings, a comfort station, and a lighted pathway that leads to the softball field and future North Park of Freshkills. The park was designed by James Corner Field Operations, with the comfort station designed by BKSK Architects.
Schmul Park is the Travis neighborhood’s entrance to Freshkills Park and sits at its southwestern edge. The property was a gift from Louis and Hermine Schmul, acquired by Parks in 1938, and was previously a working farm.
Freshkills Park is a 2,200-acre site and will serve as a living laboratory for many of the sustainability initiatives that the city is undertaking, including research on land restoration and renewable energy projects. The park will have five main areas: the Confluence, North Park, South Park, East Park and West Park. Each area will have a distinct character and programming approach, developed in response to site opportunities and constraints, public meeting and stakeholder input, agency input, operation and maintenance concerns, and feasibility of implementation.
Though the park’s development will continue in phases through 2036, development over the next 10 years will focus on creating early interventions and public access in the North and South Parks as the East and West Parks are still undergoing landfill capping procedures. Development will complement safe and effective landfill closure operations with state-of-the-art land reclamation techniques, alternative energy resources and ecological demonstration projects. The plan seeks to ensure that Freshkills Park will support richly diverse habitats for wildlife, birds and plant communities, as well as provide extraordinary natural settings for recreation--sports and programs that are unusual in the city, including horseback riding, mountain biking, nature trails and large-scale public art and cultural programming.