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Jamaica Bay

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Friends of

Gateway

Created by the Regional Plan Association as the successor to the Gateway Citizens Committee in 1987, Friends of Gateway (FoG) moved to the Neighborhood Open Space Coalition's office in 1992. This merger enables FoG to take advantage of the Coalition's heritage of working closely with the public and private sectors to improve New York City's park resources. 

Friends of Gateway (FoG) is dedicated to protecting, improving and enhancing public awareness of, and access to the New York metropolitan area's unique National Recreation Area. FoG works to ensure the preservation of Gateway's significant natural and historic areas, while encouraging the addition of appropriate recreational, educational and cultural programs and facilities to serve an urban population that is woefully under-served in terms of open space opportunities.


A Great National Park in NYC

Gateway National Recreation Area, hugging the entrance to NY harbor on Jamaica Bay, Staten Island, and Sandy Hook NJ, consists of more park acreage than all of the NYC parks combined. At some point in the future, after the work is substantially done, Gateway will be as much a model to the world of urban land restoration as Yosemite is of rural land preservation. The park's land areas, separated by water are often thought of as distinct parks. But the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Riis Park, Fort Tilden, Floyd Bennett Field, the Shore Parkway waterfront of Jamaica Bay, Fort Wadsworth, Miller Field, Great Kills and Sandy Hook are seen by the Atlantic Flyway's extensive bird population as one place. The human history of much of Gateway is about the military defense of New York Harbor.

Gateway is a made-up landscape, often scooped out of the sea to support human activities, such as military facilities, airports or highway corridors. What was left to the National Parks Service twenty-five years ago was a much abused land with pockets of green already in place either by reason of human neglect, or in the case of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge as a result of cleanup work pioneered by NYC Department of Parks. The challenge during the evolutionary development period for the park, will be finding an appropriate mix of recreational, historic preservation, and habitat restoration to encourage visitation by the residents of our heavily populated region, without abusing the plants and animals on the land or destroying the "historic" infrastructure which records its human history.

The Gateway Management plan, written with the expectation of a massive federal funds infusion for the development of the park, is still a visionary document and can serve as a guide to the current evolutionary development. Friends of Gateway works with the National Parks Service to achieve those goals in an organic way, by advocating for facilities that serve the public interest with minimal intrusion on the important historic and natural restoration that is part of the Park's mission.

In conjunction with National Park Service (NP) staff, Friends of Gateway (FoG) continues to work on manyprojects including the Rockaway Gateway Greenway, annual beach cleanups, the planting of over 1000 young trees in the Brooklyn and Staten Island units of the Park with volunteer labor, urban hikes to and through Gateway units, including the award winning spring NYC March for Parks, educational boat excursions, partnered with the NYC Soil and Water Conservation District, and the development of relationships with other Gateway special interest groups, like the Floyd Bennett Gardeners Association, The Historic Aircraft Restoration Project, and the Barren Island Marina Boaters Association.


The Gift that Keeps on Growing
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