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OutdoorFest aims to create a living community of New York's urban-based outdoor enthusiasts through a ten day festival of outdoor adventure events in all five boroughs.

8th Day in Rockaway: Exploring Rockaway Community Park

8th Day in Rockaway: Exploring Rockaway Community Park

While I don't have an official map of the area, I've been using Google Maps to suss out where to go and how to get there as I explore. Last week I noticed a large patch of green named "Rockaway Community Park" with a rainbow photo and a Google Maps description as a "recreational area" with "marshes, wildlife, fishing..." 

This seemed like the perfect place to go explore. So after quickly reading the description on the parks website which notes that "Rockaway Community Park offers a great opportunity for wildlife and nature lovers" and describes the park as "an unspoiled getaway for all New Yorkers" I hopped on my bike and headed over. Unfortunately, it turns out this oasis for wildlife lovers is actually a few trees in front of a sewage facility (and part of an old landfill).

 

If I had read beyond the first Google snap shot of the park - the three google reviews I would have found out that "the area was a garbage dump" with "dead things everywhere." 

Still a bit put off by how shockingly different the park was from the map/parks description, I dug further into the parks site that initially stated how "unspoiled" the area was and at the bottom of the page on the history of the park (after a full run down of the area since the 17th century) I would have seen the second to last sentence which sums up my experience there:

“The majority of the park’s acreage is currently inaccessible as it is returning to its natural state following years of use by the Sanitation Department.”

By Sarah Knapp as part of a series called 30 Days in the Rockaways

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