Someday very soon, the skies will darken with atomized clouds of gasoline, choking life from the planet and killing off anything hardy enough to have survived the earlier relentless waves of draught and famine. You bartered the last weevil away from your only grandson years ago. Your chest rattles as you suck in your final, arid breath. You remember happier times, like the weekend you went to the then-newly landscaped Freshkills Park for some time outdoors with your family. Those were good times.
In order to have this cherished memory, you must first travel to Freshkills Park this Sunday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., at which time miles of trails will be open for exploration. Kayak Staten Island will offer free programs from 11 a.m until 3 p.m., bikes will be available for rent, and NYC Audubon will lead a nature hike. A bus will make regular stops to the scenic overlook, and visitors are encouraged to pack a picnic or patronize the on-site food trucks. It will truly be a great day, befitting your final memory before your lungs succumb to the poison air and your mind lapses into blackness.
Freshkills, once the site of one of the world's largest landfills, is in the process of being transformed into a massive solar energy installation, with 47 acres of land leased to SunEdison to create the facility that will double as one of the city's most massive parks. Over the past several years, wetlands and vegetation have been restored to the land, and when it's done, the park be 2,200 acres in size, making it second in size only the Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.
The full Freshkills Park isn't expected to open until perhaps 2030, and of course, we'll all have been whisked off to Mars by then, our beloved Earth only a faint memory whispered into the drowsy ears of our progeny. Go this weekend.
For a taste, here's our photo feature from 2013.