Category Archives: Current Issues


Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Staten Island’s Land Conservation Organization

Submit your photographs for consideration in our 2018 Staten Island Nature & Wildlife Calendar.

Photographs will highlight the variety and uniqueness of Staten Island Parks and Natural Areas. Each month will be represented by a photograph of

that season and selected based on quality, content and ability to capture the natural beauty of Staten Island with a goal to highlight a park or natural area. An Ad Hoc Committee consisting of PPOW Board Members and Staten Island Naturalists has been created to select the photographs to be used in the calendar.

By this submission, I grant to Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, its representatives and employees the right to use my photograph(s) in connection with the above-identified subject. I authorize Protectors of Pine Oak Woods, its assigns and transferees to copyright, use and publish the same in print and/or electronically.

I agree that Protectors of Pine Oak Woods may use such photographs with or without my name and for any lawful purpose, including for example such purposes as publicity, illustration, advertising, and web content.

Deadline: July 20, 2017

Entry Fee: There is no fee for submissions.

Compensation: One PPOW Calendar only if your photograph is used in the calendar.

Notification of accepted artists: August 20, 2017

Please submit digitally – one per email. However, thee is no limit on the #of submissions.

Email entry to

Format: 4 MB minimums

Photographs selected for the calendar may also be displayed at exhibitions and we will endeavor to include credit to the photographer. A release agreement will be provided if your work is selected.

Include: Your Name: _______________________________________________________

Location of Photograph: ____________________________________________________

Date of Photograph (estimate): _______________________________________________

Children’s Aide Society Campaign to Save Property

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods
Staten Island’s Land Conservation Organization

Dear Friend,

With your help, The Children’s Aide Society is still confident that the mayor can be persuaded to include the purchase of the third phase of the Goodhue purchase in the budget. If you haven’t done so already, please take a moment and contact the mayor and strongly urge him to include funding the third phase of the Goodhue purchase in his current budget proposal. The budget is imminent so time is critical.

You can email the mayor at:

or phone 311 to make the suggestion.

Please consider the following bullet points when urging the mayor to include funding to complete the acquisition of the Goodhue Woods:
1.  Protectors of Pine Oak Woods has a long history advocating for the preservation of open space on Staten Island.
2.  Protectors urges you, Mayor Bill de Blasio, to include funding for the acquisition of the third parcel of the Goodhue Woods in your FY 2018 Executive Budget.
3.  The preservation of the land at Goodhue is well-aligned with our organization’s mission.
4.  The Children Aide Society has been a patient community-based organization working in good faith to make sure the property is protected from real estate development to be utilized as parkland for the people of Staten Island.
To read more about Goodhue Center’s beautiful 42-acre campus, please visit:

But please act today.


Flora/Fauna/Feathers of Richmond County

Flora/Fauna/Feathers of Richmond County

Sponsored by

Protectors of Pine Oak Woods

Staten Island’s land conservation organization

May 6 through August 19, 2017

Come view original artwork celebrating nature and the natural environment of Staten Island.

Opening reception: Saturday, May 6, 2017 / 1:00-4:00 p.m.

The Biddle House at Conference House Park

70 Satterlee Street, Staten Island,10307

Exhibition hours: Monday – Friday by appointment only, Saturday 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Admission: free/ For contact information, call 718 227-1463 or e-mail francis.gessner@parksn.

Organized & curated by Gail Middleton / Creative Photographers Guild

Freshkills Wetlands Monitoring


In mid-August, Freshkills Park staff and interns conducted the annual monitoring of the North Park Wetland Restoration. Each year we record how the native plants are doing, whether any invasive plant species are coming back in, and what kinds of wildlife are using the restored site.

The North Park Wetland Restoration was completed in 2013 and encompasses 1.8 acres in the northeast corner of North Park, along Main Creek and next to the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge. The site had previously been overrun with Phragmites australis, an invasive reed. As part of the restoration efforts, goats were used to clear the invasive plants, and the land was re-sloped to match the nearby wetland shoreline elevations. A native plant palette of both low marsh and high marsh species was then planted.

We’ve been able to show that the native plantings are thriving, and important wildlife are using the site. For example, this year we spotted muskrat burrows and wading birds, and in past years we’ve seen evidence of diamondback terrapin turtles.

There are permanent transects established at the site, which ensures that we’re making accurate comparisons from year to year of the same areas. We stretch a measuring tape from the shoreline up to permanent stakes that mark the transects, and then use a quadrat (which is basically a PVC square of a set size) at locations along the transect to take measurements within it. These measurements include variables such as stem height, plant species present, percentage of ground cover, and any signs of wildlife.  From these measurements we can make comparisons to previous years and observe how the restoration plantings are faring and how the site is changing over time.

This year’s environmental monitoring interns were Jocelyn Zorn and Josephine Hill-James. Each year, our environmental monitoring interns really help us out by assisting during the actual monitoring, analyzing the results, and writing up the report. We’re lucky to have this assistance in continuing to monitor this restoration at Freshkills Park.

It’s important to assess how wetland restorations such as this one are performing in the years following the restoration work. Otherwise, it’s hard to be sure which techniques are really working and which aren’t. It’s also important to see if something isn’t working so that we can take mitigating action, like removing Phragmites australis that may be moving back in. Wetland habitats are crucial for flood control, water filtration, and for a host of species that rely on them for their habitat. We are working to preserve the wetland areas that we have, and to figure out ways to make them more resilient and productive habitats.

The restoration itself was funded by a grant from the New York Department of State’s Office of Coastal, Local Government & Community Sustainability, as part of the Environmental Protection Fund.

Results of the planning meeting for Freshkills Park


Community visioning for South Park at Freshkills Park has begun. This section of the park will receive $30 million through New York City’s Anchor Parks program to provide new access and amenities, and visioning is the first step in developing a plan for what will be constructed. In spite of torrential rain, 80 people attended the November 30 visioning session at the Jewish Community Center in Staten Island to learn about the initiative and discuss their ideas for South Park.

The Anchor Parks program is a major investment in five large, diverse parks across the city. One park in each borough – St. Mary’s Park in the Bronx, Betsy Head Park in Brooklyn, Freshkills Park in Staten Island, Astoria Park in Queens, and Highbridge Park in Manhattan – will receive funding for major capital advancements. This fall, NYC Parks has scheduled meetings in communities closest to each Anchor Park to get input on what they would like to see in these areas.

At the November 30th meeting, Staten Island Borough Commissioner Lynda Ricciardone welcomed everyone and introduced Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, who provided remarks about the impact this initiative will have on communities surrounding South Park. Deputy Borough President Ed Burke was also present and talked about the importance of active recreation. Adrian Smith, Staten Island Team Leader for the Capital Projects Division, gave a presentation about the project and shared possible sites within South Park to build new amenities. Smith also explained some of the environmental and regulatory issues that were considered as part of the site and amenity selection process. For example, because Freshkills Park is being built on a former landfill, landfill safety features must remain untouched. The new park should connect to Owl Hollow Soccer Fields and its design should take into consideration traffic on Arthur Kill Road and Arden Avenue, as well as any potential effects on adjacent neighborhoods, such as traffic or excess light.


After the presentation, small groups of community members worked with facilitators, note takers, and maps to discuss what they would like to see at the project site. Many people indicated they would like to see multipurpose trails for running, hiking, and biking that connect with Owl Hollow Soccer Fields and nearby trails. There was also a high level of support for softball and cricket fields. A number of participants wanted to see gathering spaces for people of all ages, such as an amphitheater or sitting areas along the pathways. Safety was a big concern, and many people voiced an interest in having new park areas developed farther away from the traffic on Arden Avenue and Arthur Kill Road. Parking lots and a comfort station were also big priorities.

If you didn’t make it to the meeting or if you would like to submit additional comments, you can share your thoughts online until December 14. Visit Comments from the community will be submitted to landscape architects Starr Whitehouse, and another meeting will be scheduled this winter for the public to review the conceptual plan.

Thanks to Deputy Borough President Ed Burke, Congressman Donovan Representative Pat Ryan, Council Member Matteo Representative Rose Kourani, Council Member Borelli Representative Michelle Landi, and Assembly Member Castorina Representative Rick Livan for attending and showing support for the project.

Still time to share your ideas about Freshkills


Freshkills Park Construction

This is a tentative project. Not all proposed projects will become active projects. To learn more about proposed projects, visit our How We Build Parks page.

Share Your Input: Freshkills-South Park Reconstruction

Share Your Ideas. Help us design and build great parks! We are taking online input on this project until 12/14/2016.

Freshkills Park will receive $30 million of investment to spend on your priorities at South Park. Please share your vision for this area of Freshkills Park.

Share Your Thoughts


« Older Entries