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Alley Pond Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, July 1, 2010

Alley Pond Park Is Park Of The Month!

When the glacial moraine that is now Alley Pond Park was first acquired 83 years ago by the city, Mayor James J. Walker (1881 – 1946) and New Yorkers knew that what they had obtained was a real treasure. Today, the second largest park in Queens boasts 654 acres, as well as some of the biggest tulip trees, oaks and beeches in the entire city. Alley Pond Park has long been a proud part of the natural and cultural heritage of New York. With its many unique natural features, the park supports a diverse ecosystem and abundant bird life.

“Alley Pond Park is a special place that demonstrates New York history in more ways than one,” said Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Its unique geography and many ecosystems have been preserved for generations. New Yorkers can today enjoy this land just as people have for centuries including George Washington and Mattinecock Native Americans. Alley Pond Park juxtaposes the past with the present as its Adventure Course meets the needs of park users of the 21st century.”

Not only is Alley Pond Park a beautiful monument to New York geography, it is home to the Alley Pond Park Adventure Course. The FREE outdoor education program helps participants (ages 8+) build valuable teambuilding and problem-solving skills. In addition, Alley Pond Park has everything from playgrounds to barbeque areas, as well as numerous courts and fields!

The origin of the park’s name comes under some debate. The site is named for The Alley, an 18th century commercial and manufacturing center once located there. Some say the center received its name for the shape of the glacier-made valley. Others say that the colonial travelers, crossing Brooklyn to the Manhattan ferries, named it “the alley.”

The geographically astounding glacial moraine on which Alley Pond Park lies was formed some 15,000 years ago, marking the southern terminus of the Minnesota Ice Sheet. The boulders and “Kettle Ponds” that speckle the terrain are all evidence of the long history that shaped the land. Thanks to the fresh water that drains into the valley from the hills and natural springs, along with the salt water from Little Neck Bay, Alley Pond Park hosts freshwater and saltwater wetlands, tidal flats, meadows and forests. Since the 1970s, Parks has continuously been rehabilitating the natural wetlands and working to restore, renovate, and beautify the park.

Park of the Month introduces some of our greatest parks and recreation centers to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike. Visit for more information and to see Alley Pond Park in action by watching It’s My Park, keyword: Alley Pond Park.


Parks & Recreation and the City Parks Foundation (CPF) with the support of the American Red Cross is pleased to announce the kick-off of this year’s annual Learn to Swim program. Learn to Swim is a free instructional program that runs at more than 30 public outdoor pools. The program teaches tots (ages 1 ½ - 5) and children (ages 6 - 14) basic water safety and swimming skills. This summer, there are three course sessions of Learn-to-Swim. Registration for the first session is on July 6, and classes begin the following day. For more information and a schedule of locations, please visit or call 311.


“Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed.”

Corita Kent
(1918 – 1986)

Directions to Alley Pond Park

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