STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (PIX11) – A section of Freshkills Park in Staten Island that used to be part of a landfill is now open to the public, the city announced Sunday.

The public is now able to access the 21-acre North Park section, which features views of the area’s hills and waterways, birdwatching opportunities and access to the William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge. Pedestrian and cycling paths, an overlook deck, a viewing tower and a composting restroom were also added to the area, according to the city.

The park used to be known as the Fresh Kills Landfill, which was once the largest landfill site in the world, according to city officials. It closed in 2001 and construction began on Freshkills Park in 2008.

“What was once an eyesore is now becoming a world-class park that will serve the residents of this borough for generations to come, and that will, once fully complete, become the second largest park within the five boroughs,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.

Construction in the park is expected to be completed by 2036. Once the park is completed, it will be the largest park developed by the city in 100 years, officials said.

Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.