Shirley Chisholm State Park
Award of Merit
OWNER: New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
LEAD DESIGN FIRM, STRUCTURAL ENGINEER, CIVIL ENGINEER: WSP USA
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: Galvin Brothers
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: LiRo Program and Construction Management
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE/DESIGN: Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc.
Set atop two landfills that had restricted visual and physical access to Jamaica Bay, the 407-acre park helps visitors enjoy the site’s natural beauty with elements of ecological restoration. Project features include lawn and raised landscape patio areas, water access locations including a dock and gangway, shade structures, access roads, paths and sidewalks, lighting and an invasive species control plan. Because of drainage, settlement and loading limitations on the existing landfill cap, the team devised a unique system composed of geofoam, glass aggregate, petroleum-resistant membrane and a drainage mat. This system creates an arable landscape atop the landfill while achieving health and environmental protection standards required for the facility’s closure. Located 100 ft above the surrounding area, the natural landform was exquisitely shaped despite the wetland estuary’s notoriously constant high winds. An intricate planting strategy includes shade trees that will stand up to the area’s ecological conditions, while shipping containers were repurposed as solar-powered education centers focused on wetlands, coastal protection and Shirley Chisholm’s many contributions to the community and nation.
Photo by Darren Cosgrove