Wolfe's Pond Park

Hylan Blvd.

From the City of New York/Parks & Recreation Historical Signs Program: Wolfe’s Pond is unusual because it is a freshwater pond that is only yards from the saltwater of the ocean. It was probably once an inlet of the sea, which supported very diffe... more

From the City of New York/Parks & Recreation Historical Signs Program: Wolfe’s Pond is unusual because it is a freshwater pond that is only yards from the saltwater of the ocean. It was probably once an inlet of the sea, which supported very different life than it does today. But over time, the wind and waves pushed sand and clay into the mouth of that inlet, blocking the flow of saltwater into the pond. The outflow into Acme Pond, combined with years of rain and runoff, have transformed the pond from saltwater to freshwater. In the 19th century, this pond was crucial to the activities of the oystermen who harvested Raritan Bay. They would bring their shellfish to this pond to wash them—not only cleaning off debris, but also reducing their catch’s salt content and thereby improving flavor. To protect the freshwater pond from storm damage, the oystermen would periodically repair the natural barrier separating the pond from the sea. When Parks acquired the pond in 1929, a permanent dam was constructed to protect it from such erosion. In 1933, local residents complained that access to the beach and pond was blocked by bungalow dwellers, who were allegedly friends of the Par... more

From the City of New York/Parks & Recreation Historical Signs Program:

Wolfe’s Pond is unusual because it is a freshwater pond that is only yards from the saltwater of the ocean. It was probably once an inlet of the sea, which supported very different life than it does today. But over time, the wind and waves pushed sand and clay into the mouth of that inlet, blocking the flow of saltwater into the pond. The outflow into Acme Pond, combined with years of rain and runoff, have transformed the pond from saltwater to freshwater.

In the 19th century, this pond was crucial to the activities of the oystermen who harvested Raritan Bay. They would bring their shellfish to this pond to wash them—not only cleaning off debris, but also reducing their catch’s salt content and thereby improving flavor. To protect the freshwater pond from storm damage, the oystermen would periodically repair the natural barrier separating the pond from the sea. When Parks acquired the pond in 1929, a permanent dam was constructed to protect it from such erosion.

In 1933, local residents complained that access to the beach and pond was blocked by bungalow dwellers, who were allegedly friends of the Parks Commissioner. Indeed, there were more than 90 summer homes set up around the pond. After a court battle, the buildings were razed and the park opened to all. London plane trees (Platanus x acerifolia), pin (Quercus palustris) and willow (Quercus phellos) oaks, and honey locusts (Gleditsia triacanthos) were planted. A boathouse, bathhouse, stairs to the beach, parking lot, playground, and picnic area were also constructed for public enjoyment.

The vegetation of the pond is very diverse, including sweet pepperbush (Clethra alnifolia), highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum), serviceberry (Amelanchier), and wine raspberry (Rubus phoenicolasius). These plants provide ample food for many birds, such as yellowthroats (Geothlypis trichas), redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), and other warblers (Parulidae). In the pond, wood ducks (Aix sponsa) and mallards (Anas platyrhyncos) feed on aquatic plants, such as arrow arum (Peltandra virginica), swamp rose mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos), and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). Red winged blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus), black-crowned night herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), and great blue herons (Ardea herodias) hunt for fish and frogs along the pond’s edge. The belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) can easily be spotted diving from a branch overhanging the pond to catch its pray below.

During the winter of 1992, storms destroyed the dam that separated Wolfe’s Pond from the sea. Mayor Giuliani and Borough President Guy V. Molinari funded the $1,200,000 construction of a new pond embankment and beach protection. This included the installation of a planted berm and a new weir. The unique Wolfe’s Pond will remain a distinct freshwater pond, near the ocean, for years to come.


Drag the street view to look around 360°.
Use the arrow buttons to navigate down the street and around the neighborhood!

There are no events taking place on this date.

Info

Hylan Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10301
(718) 984-8266

Editorial Rating

@NYCParks

@Nick_J_Lombardo Hi Nick! Pier 25 is managed by our friends at @HudsonRiverPark. You can reach out to them, and we'…
https://t.co/LEA4uxDief 57 Minutes Ago

@SquarePegDem @RitchieTorres Thanks for your interest! That training was just for @NYCParks employees, but you can…
https://t.co/5UyWuQ52SD 2 Hours Ago

Our friends at @WaveHill spotted glory-of-the-snow flowers on their way! #SignsofSpringNYC
https://t.co/CMRg8TDpQh 2 Hours Ago

Happy last day of winter! Join us in looking for #SignsofSpringNYC along the waterfront in Riverside Park South!
https://t.co/poEKPs39dS 4 Hours Ago

view all

Other Parks Attractions

Inwood Hill Park

Inwood Hill Park contains the last natural forest and salt marsh in Manhattan. I... view

Bowling Green

New York's oldest public park, Bowling Green is a teardrop of a triangle cut out... view

Washington Square Park

From the City of New York/Parks & Recreation Historical Signs Program:

Washin... view

Bronx Park

Bronx Park, like the surrounding borough and the river that runs through it, is ... view