The Blue Ribbon Panel

The 1400 acre Floyd Bennett Field, part of Gateway National Recreation Area, is one of New York City’s largest public spaces. It provides many environmental, recreational, and cultural benefits to the people of Brooklyn and Queens and visitors from the rest of the City and beyond. The National Park Service is now drafting a plan to shape the future of Gateway National Recreation Area.

Recognizing that now is the time for action, Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Anthony Weiner convened the Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel. After much deliberation and public discussion, the Panel made recommendations that are detailed in Floyd Bennett Field: A Report by the Floyd Bennett Field Blue Ribbon Panel. The Blue Ribbon Panel Released their final report on April 12, 2011.

Panel Report Summary

Americans love their parks, and New York City’s more than eight million residents, living and working in the densest city in the United States, especially need their parks. Today we have the unique opportunity to develop a new flagship national park for New York by revitalizing Gateway National Recreation Area. This unpolished gem, with Floyd Bennett Field at its heart, is ready to be brought alive as the great urban national park it was intended to be, elevated to shine as the next jewel in the emerald crown of New York City’s great park system.

The Blue Ribbon Panel Report offers concrete recommendations for revitalizing Gateway National Recreation Area and Floyd Bennett Field as America’s next great urban national park. The Blue Ribbon Panel’s Report recommendations include:

- Developing a new master plan for Floyd Bennett Field to make it more welcoming to visitors, including creating a consistent park design, restoring open space, preserving aviation history, improving access to waterfront and expanding recreational opportunities;

- Improving public transportation and access to Floyd Bennett Field via bus and ferry service and enhance the bicycling experience in and around the park;

- Restoring hundreds of acres of wetlands, grasslands, and forests  as outlined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Jamaica Bay Feasibility Study;

- Better serve the region’s millions of school children by developing a comprehensive education and interpretation program that includes a state-of-the-art education facility and expand visitor experience to include eco-lodges and campsites; and

- Establishing a new trust, as a partnership between New York City and the National Park Service, to help manage and facilitate the above recommendations by 2016, as the National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Contact

Maya Borgenicht, maya@rpa.org, 917.652.6359

Acknowledgements

The Blue Ribbon Panel is a project of Regional Plan Association and National Parks Conservation Association

NPCA

National Parks Conservation Association
300 19th Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 223-6722, Fax: (202) 659-0650

RPA

Regional Plan Association
4 Irving Place, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
Tel: (212) 253-2727, Fax: (212) 253-5666