Preserving Staten's Island's Great Outdoors

Greenbelt Journal

High Rock Park: The Elliot Willensky years

By A. MAE SEELEY A garden for the blind was just one of the many innovative outreach programs launched at High Rock Park during the 1970’s when the famed architect, author and city chronicler Elliot Willensky served as education director. A city boy himself, Elliot understood that a visit to High Rock’s untamed and unpaved…

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Protecting the Greenbelt is a job that’s never completed

By ELLEN O’FLAHERTY PRATT For me it all began on December 26, 1979 when the Staten Island Advance headline read “Mayor Koch to sell SeaView.” The semi-abandoned hospital between Staten Island’s Brielle Avenue and Manor Road was built in the early 20th century as a tuberculosis sanatorium. By the 1950s it had fallen into disuse…

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A golf course is saved, and with it a historic green space

By KENNETH SACCARO The Richmond Country Club (RCCC) 124-acre golf course sits in the heart of the Greenbelt. It will forever be a green oasis thanks to a deal that was brokered in 1989 between Club members and New York State. The state, using funds from the 1986 Environmental Quality Bond Act, purchased the property…

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When High Rock Park was home

Stone house headquarters of the Greenbelt Conservancy in High Rock Park Staten Island

By DOROTHY REILLY In 1912, what we now know as High Rock Park, was comprised of several privately owned parcels of land. The Tonking family purchased 12 acres to establish a poultry business they called “Mayroyd Farm.” Other parts of Staten Island’s central highlands were owned by the Vanderbilt, Walker and Ebbit families. In 1921,…

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