Ft. Tilden, Breezy Point and Riis Park

Most of the western end of  Rockaway is now part of Gateway National Recreation Area.

This tree in Riis Park is a popular spot for migrating butterflies:

Breezy Point Beach:

 shuttered beach club:


old munitions storage

From a Parks Dept. web site 
"Established in 1917, Fort Tilden is named for Samuel Tilden, who served as Governor of New York and was the Democratic nominee for President in 1876.... the fort was decommissioned as a military installation in 1974. It was then transferred to the control of the National Park Service.
Today the national park at Fort Tilden offers a mixture of past military structures and reclaimed natural areas. A walk through the fort includes many great spots to see wildlife in the successional maritime forest, along the Atlantic shore, and near the fort's freshwater pond. The observatory deck on top of Battery Harris East, a historic gun site, offers dramatic views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor, and is a great vantage point to spot migrating birds."
"Breezy Point Tip is an isolated peninsula beach fronting Jamaica Bay. This wild westernmost tip of Rockaway Peninsula, transferred to the National Park Service in 1972, features over two hundred acres of ocean-front beach, bay shoreline, sand dunes, marshes and coastal grasslands all within New York City."

all photos copyright nycedges 2010

Salt Marsh Nature Center (Brooklyn)

The main entrance building :

Butterfly bush:

The marked walkways and viewing areas:

The Gerritsen Creek entrance:
These paths are not landscaped, they lead to the tip of Gerritsen Beach and out to Jamaica Bay.

Views across the inlet

planting and watering new marsh grass

low tide and an egret feeding

These pilings are the only remnants of the old abandoned grist mill that burnt down in the 1930's. The original mill was built around 1645 by Hugh Gerritsen, it said to be the first "tidal" mill in the US.

From parks dept. web site
"The salt marsh is a birdwatcher's paradise. Ducks, geese, cormorants, sandpipers, herons, egrets, red-winged blackbirds, and marsh hawks are just a few of the birds that can be seen here...The role of our salt marsh is even more crucial because more than 75 percent of the original salt marsh in Jamaica Bay has been destroyed, much of it between 1950 and the mid-1970s. Most of that destruction was due to filling of marshes to create more land area for homes and industry. Marine Park's salt marsh, formerly a wasteland filled with trash and abandoned cars, has been restored to its natural condition -- proof that a rare and fragile ecosystem can safely exist even when it borders a heavily urban area like Brooklyn."

all color photos copyright nycedges 2010