Integral Consulting staff Katie Corso and Keith Brodock., P.E., are helping the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) turn what was once the world’s largest landfill into a diverse public park—eventually allowing visitor access to open space and creek side paths. Where there was once wasteland, efforts of NYC agencies, including NYC Parks and the NYC Department of Sanitation, and an array of contractors, including Integral, are transforming the space into a habitat for local wildlife and a nature reserve for viewing a variety of birds such as heron and osprey.
North Mound at Freshkills Park is part of the former Fresh Kills Landfill, which received solid waste from New York City between 1948 and 2001. North Mound reached capacity prior to other sections of the landfill and was closed in 1992. NYC Parks is working toward opening North Mound for passive recreation, while other sections of the former landfill will open in phases as a destination for education, recreation, art, and ecological research.
In spring 2020, Integral staff Katie Corso, Jonathan Pereira, and Patrick McGuire conducted soil sampling at North Mound to understand the soil chemistry of the topsoil used in the landfill cover system. Over the course of 2 weeks, they collected more than 100 composite samples across equal-sized grids covering North Mound.
During sampling, Integral staff met COVID-19-related challenges by implementing stringent health and safety measures that included practicing physical distancing, wearing face masks, and frequently disinfecting surfaces.
Integral used the sampling data to evaluate how North Mound could safely be opened to the public. Integral compiled and submitted a report on an expedited timeline to meet NYC Parks’ internal schedule. In the near future, Integral will be discussing these options with NYC Parks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.