Located along the Kill Van Kull waterfront in the Port Richmond section of Staten Island is Faber Park and Pool. Although the park is certainly not the first park that comes to mind when you think of North Shore parks, Faber Park and Pool is gaining popularity and momentum as it provides more and more programs for the youth and families of Staten Island’s North Shore.
Faber Park was once the north shore home of the Faber family, a prominent German family who built the first lead pencil factory in the United States in 1879. The area was placed under parks jurisdiction in 1928, and a recreation building, playground, wading and swimming pools were built. Faber Pool was opened in July of 1932 as a safer alternative to swimming in the Kill Van Kull, and was the largest pool on Staten Island at the time of its completion.
The park was more than doubled in size in 1941, and, in 1996 it received funds to upgrade the classrooms, offices, and locker rooms as well as fill in the diving pool and repair the exterior grounds.
Although Faber Park may be small in size (less than 4 acres compared to 193-acre Clove Lakes Park), what it lacks in size it makes up in views and quality programs for the local community.
Currently, Faber Park and Pool covers 4.6 acres of beautiful landscape. The unobstructed nautical views of the Bayonne Bridge and the Kill Van Kull are like none other on Staten Island. If you’ve never been to Faber Park, I definitely recommend a visit, especially at sunset. The path from Richmond Terrace takes you nearby the field house, the pool, and directly down to the waterfront, where you can sit and enjoy a cool breeze while watching seafaring traffic, just yards away. There are plenty of trees for picnicking, or for just enjoying the outdoors in general.
Besides views, the park also offers a number of recreational programs in the summer and throughout the year. The park contains a playground, basketball courts, a swimming pool and field house with classrooms and offices.
City Parks Foundation: Youth Made Media
This multimedia/technology after school program offers video production training, media literacy, academic support and life skills training out of Faber Recreation Center at Faber Park Field house. The program also operates throughout the summer to train youth in all aspects of production. For more information, visit http://www.ym2.org/YM2.org/Welcome.html.
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation: Shape Up NYC
Faber Park Field house also hosts free fitness classes through Shape up NYC. On Mondays from 10-11:30am, participants can enjoy some exercise and company at the Zoomer Fitness class, a program that incorporates lower impact and slower movements, and is perfect for people who want to exercise at a lower intensity. For more information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/programs/recreation/shape-up-nyc.
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation: Learn to Swim
NYC Parks provides a variety of free aquatics programs for all ages and levels, ranging from swim lessons to recreational swimming or even training for swim team competition. Faber Pool is one of the four Staten Island locations that offer this free program to children. For more information, visit http://www.nycgovparks.org/programs/aquatics.
What I like about Faber Park is that it is constantly evolving. For a small park, it certainly does offer many opportunities for children and young adults to get involved with community. One particular project that has been in the works for a few years is Faber Park’s new skate park.
Currently, work is being done at Faber Park to construct a plaza type skate park, with special features that include a pedestrian friendly spectator viewing, the first “wheel friendly” skate and bike plaza, and a theme that is integrated within the current Faber Park setting, thus maintaining the slopes, trees, natural stone and landscape features of the park.
The skate park will be Staten Island’s third, joining the Benjamin Soto Skate Park in Midland Beach and 5050 Skate Park in Stapleton, and will include features such as stairs, ledges, banks, hips and quarter pipes.
But this skate park is much more than a new space for local riders to gather. The 10,000 square foot Faber Park facility will bring life into what used to be a passive space in one of State Island’s more passive parks. And, the skate park itself reflects the depth of community, unity and support it took to make a North Shore skate park a reality.
Behind one teenager’s campaign to build a public skate park on Staten Island’s North Shore was a community of support. Now, because of this young man’s ambition and through the support of his community, riders of all age can benefit from the park. It is anticipated to open Winter 2015.
I can’t wait to see it in action!
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Look forward to meeting up with you soon! Hope your having a fantastic Summer!