by Foresthillsmaven
 Forest Park History
Feb 26, 2012 | 6209 views | 0 0 comments | 466 466 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Forest Park is the third largest park in Queens. It is surrounded by five ethnically diverse neighborhoods, Richmond Hill, Kew Gardens, Forest Hills, Woodhaven, and Glendale.

The History of Forest Park dates back to 1895 when officials of Brooklyn's western district began to search for a place to develop a recreational facility for their constituents who were living in greatly overcrowded conditions. Heavily forested and filled with song birds, rabbits, and quail, the park offered magnificent views of the Long Island Sound and Atlantic Ocean from its high hills. The original aim was to purchase 500 acres of land that would connect to a series of "greenbelts" and extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Long Island Sound. The site selected for the new park was a large wooded area, located in Queens County. On August 9, 1895, the first parcel of land in what would later become Forest Park was purchased. Because of the numerous landowners involved, the park had to be procured in 124 parcels. When the last of the 538 acres of land was obtained in 1898, Brooklyn and Queens were part of New York City. Thus, the original name of the planned park, Brooklyn Forest Park, was shortened to its present title. Conceived by Frederick Law Olmsted, the wandering design of the park's main drive offers the pastoral quality evident in other New York City flagship parks planned by the renowned architect.

The next forty years brought great changes to the park. Existing buildings were sold at auctions, removed, and more land was set aside for a golf course, clubhouse, and a greenhouse. The work projects administration laid new road, built recreational facilities, and installed park paths. Forest Park is one of the last natural densely forested parks in New York City, abundant not only with vegetation, but wildlife and knob-and-kettle topography.

From "Forest Hills Park Department"

You can actually see part of the city on horseback. Lynn's Riding School 718 262-7679 and the Forest Equine Center 718 263-3500. The riding trails are over 4 miles and go through 165 acres of Oak forest.

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