An outstanding park in every sense of the word, New York City acquired the refuge land in segments, between 1974 and 2001. Due to the hard work and dedication of concerned Staten Islanders, the area gradually saw its transformation from a tragic wasteland filled with abandoned old cars to the gloriously peaceful wildlife and hospitible refuge awaiting visitors today. Six kettle ponds formed by a retreating Wisconsin glacier teem with marine life and the surrounding woods and wetlands are chock full of native species- owls, osprey, heron, ducks, turtles, tree frogs and spring peepers and lush wildflowers all call the park home; nature enthusiasts regularly flock to the area to observe the thriving park ecosystem.
A visitor’s center lies just inside the park entrance, and offers several classrooms, a library, exhibit areas and public restrooms, picnic tables, two observation decks and a mist net for bird banding-the perfect place for the bird watchers amongst you to partake of their hobby! Urban Park Rangers and Friends of the Blue Heron-a fabulous community organization whose goal is connecting New Yorkers to the natural world in their own backyards through environmental education, outdoor recreation, wildlife management and active conservation- offer guests a wide variety of arts and educational activities and programming including nature walks, crafts, zoo animals and special holiday events.