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Trees Planted as Staten Island Landfill Begins Transformation into Park

By Nicholas Rizzi | October 22, 2013 9:29am
 The city planted the first tree at the Brookfield Landfill to mark the end of the first phase of remediation at the site, which will open as a park in 2017.
Brookfield Landfill Tree Planting
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GREAT KILLS — The transformation of a former Staten Island landfill into a public park has been started with the planting of the first trees.

The Department of Environmental Protection planted the first of 17,000 trees at Brookfield Landfill Monday. The 132 acre site will be turned into a park by 2007.

"One of the amazing things we get to do is to turn trash to treasure," said Carter Strickland, DEP commissioner. "It's beautiful now."

The DEP said it was on time to complete the first stage of its $287 million remediation project — funded with city and state money — which installed a landfill cap and below-ground barrier.

The barrier should contain any pollutants from site, which operate,d from 1966 until 1980, the DEP said.

The city added 2 million tons of clean soil, up to four feet deep, on top of the barrier, and introduced prairie grass and other plants to prevent erosion and attract birds, the DEP said.

Councilman Vincent Ignizio said the cap will protect the future generations of Staten Island from potential toxins from the landfill, where industrial hazardous wastes were reported to have been illegally dumped there in its last six years of operation.

"We will not have kids that are going to sleep smelling garbage," Ignizio said."

Aside from the barrier and cap, the DEP also plans to add around 76,000 wetland plantings to help preserve the restored 7.3 acres of tidal wetland and 8.8 acres of freshwater wetlands on the site.