Big urban parks sprouting across the U.S.
Four major cities are poised to create urban parks several times bigger than New York’s iconic Central Park, itself a not-at-all-shabby 843 acres. In Orange County, Calif., a portion of a former air station will become a 1,347-acre park; in Memphis, a 4,500-acre former prison farm has been snatched from developers by a conservation easement; Atlanta is trying to add enough parkland to attach nearly every neighborhood to green space; and a Staten Island landfill will become a giant park with amenities to attract bikers, boaters, and fishers. (No word on whether the Staten Island park will maintain the unsettling moniker of the Fresh Kills Landfill.) The push for parks comes as industrial land lies vacant, property values rise near green space, and demand for urban parkland increases. Says Catherine Nagel of the City Parks Alliance, “There’s a growing awareness of the importance of providing green space to cities around the country.”