Astoria resident Joseph Anastasio is leading the push to turn a “forest-covered urban mountain” located between 45th Street and the Rikers Island Bridge in Astoria into parkland.
The tree-covered mountain was likely formed on top of an 86-foot high, 17-acre pile of trash, or construction debris from the Lincoln Tunnel, according to Curbed. Surrounded by concrete and manufacturing sites, the property is currently leased to Port Authority, which is reportedly considering using the spot for the construction staging of planned runway extensions at LaGuardia Airport. The resulting chop of up to 30 feet of the mountain and the demise of its trees is an outcome Anastasio hopes to avoid.
“It is one of the last undeveloped parcels of land located in an area woefully devoid of actual park space,” Anastasio wrote on the blog LTV Squad. He noted that the parcel is “ripe” for conversion into a park, “… so ripe that the powers that be will likely never allow it.”
Turning the site into parkland wouldn’t be impossible, however given the land is already city-owned and the Port Authority could expand their staging area elsewhere into Queens, Anastasio argues. The city and Port Authority have yet to formally respond to the proposal. [Curbed] — Julie Strickland