About the Community of Staten-Island
Staten Island is one of the five boroughs of New York City, in the U.S. state of New York, located in the southwest part of the city. Staten Island is the southernmost part of the both the City and State of New York, with Conference House Park at the southern tip of the island and the state.
The borough is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay. With a 2013 Census-estimated population of 472,621, Staten Island is the least populated of the boroughs but is the third-largest in area at 59 sq mi (153 km2). The borough is coextensive with Richmond County, and until 1975 the borough was officially named the Borough of Richmond. Staten Island has been sometimes called “the forgotten borough” by inhabitants who feel neglected by the city government.
The North Shore — especially the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Clifton, and Stapleton — is the most urban part of the island; it contains the officially designated St. George Historic District and the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian houses. The East Shore is home to the 2.5-mile (4 km) F.D.R. Boardwalk, the fourth-longest in the world. The South Shore developed rapidly beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, and is mostly suburban in character. The West Shore is the least populated and most industrial part of the island.
Staten Island used to claim the largest landfill in the world. It was closed in 2001, then shortly afterward temporarily reopened to receive the debris from the September 11th attacks. The landfill is being made into what will be New York City’s second largest public park.
Motor traffic can reach the borough from Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and from New Jersey via the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge. Staten Island has Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus lines and a MTA rapid transit line, the Staten Island Railway, which runs from the ferry terminal at St. George to Tottenville. Staten Island is the only borough that is not connected to the New York City subway system. The free Staten Island Ferry connects the borough to Manhattan and is a popular tourist attraction, providing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan.
As in much of North America, human habitation appeared in the island fairly rapidly after the retreat of the ice sheet. Archaeologists have recovered tool evidence of Clovis culture activity dating from about 14,000 years ago. This evidence was first discovered in 1917 in the Charleston section of the island. Various Clovis artifacts have been discovered since then, on property owned by Mobil Oil.
The island was probably abandoned later, possibly because of the extirpation of large mammals on the island. Evidence of the first permanent American Indian settlements and agriculture are thought to date from about 5,000 years ago,although early archaic habitation evidence has been found in multiple locations on the island.
Rossville points are a distinct type of arrowhead that defines a Native American cultural period that runs from the Archaic period to the Early Woodland period, dating from about 1500 to 100 BC. They are named for the Rossville section of Staten Island where they were first found near the old Rossville Post Office building.
Parks and Wild Life in Staten-Island
Jersey City, The Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan, and Downtown Brooklyn as seen from Northeast Staten Island.
Staten Island is home to a large and diverse population of wildlife. Wildlife found on Staten Island include white tailed deer, hundreds of species of birds including turkey, hawks, egrets and ring-necked pheasants. Staten Island is also home to horseshoe crabs, cotton tailed rabbits, opossums, raccoons, garter snakes, red-eared slider turtles, newts, spring peeper frogs, leopard frogs, fox, box turtles, northern snapping turtles and common snapping turtles.
Parks and Woods
Staten Island includes thousands of acres of federal, state, and local park land including the “greenbelt” and “blue belt” park systems and the Gateway National Recreation Area in addition to hundreds of acres of private wooded areas.
The parks on Staten Island are managed by various state, federal and local agencies.Five sites are part of the 26,000-acre (110 km2) Gateway National Recreation Area, managed by the U.S. National Park Service and patrolled by the United States Park Police:
- Great Kills Park
- Miller Field
- Fort Wadsworth
- Hoffman Island
- Swinburne Island
The National Park Service also maintains full-time Wild land Firefighters to patrol the Staten Island sites in wildfire brush trucks. Two New York State parks are managed by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation:
- Mount Loretto Unique Area
- Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve
New York State Park Police officers patrol these parks and the surrounding streets.359 Acres of State Forests, state wildlife management areas and Wetlands are managed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation:
- Saint Francis Woodland
- Butler Manor Woods
- Arden Heights Woods
- Todt Hill Woods
- North Mount Loretto State Forest
- Lemon creek Tidal Wetland Wildlife Management Area
- Blosers Wetland Wildlife Management Area
- Goethal Pond Wetland
- Bridge Creek Tidal Wetland
- Old Place Creek Tidal Wetland
- Oakwood Beach Wetland
- Sharrots Shoreline Natural Resource Area
- Sawmill Creek Wetland
The 359 acres of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation land throughout the island are patrolled by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Police officers and one NYS DEC Forest Ranger, who has the dual task of law enforcement and fire suppression.
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation manages 156 parks, including:
Conference House Park
- Willowbrook Park
- Graniteville Quarry Park
- Silver Lake Park
- Clove Lake Park
Sports in Staten Island
Staten Island formerly had a National Football League team, the Stapletons. Based in Stapleton. Their stadium, Thompson’s Stadium, was located on the site of Berta A. Dreyfus Intermediate School 49 and the Stapleton Houses. They played in the league from 1929–32, defeating the New York Giants twice and the Chicago Cardinals once. During the 1932 NFL season the Stapletons, last in the NFL, played the eventual season champion Chicago Bears to a scoreless tie. Football Hall of Famer Ken Strong played for the Stapes.
The New York Predators of the semi-pro Regional American Football League have called Staten Island home since their inception in 1998. Owned by Bill Simo, they play most home games at St. Peters H.S.
There was a controversial plan by the International Speedway Corporation to build a speedway on the island that would host NASCAR races by 2010. ISC abandoned the plan in 2006, citing financial concerns.
In 1964 Staten Island’s Mid Island Little League won the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The Staten Island Cricket Club, incorporated in 1866, is the oldest continuously operating cricket club in the United States.
Education in Staten Island
Education in Staten Island is provided by a number of public and private institutions. Public schools in the borough are managed by the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the United States.
Public middle schools include Intermediate Schools 2, 7, 14, 16, 21, 24, 27, 32, 34, 35, 42, 46, 49, 51, 61, 63, 72 and 75, and 861, a K to 8 school as well as part of the Petrides School (which runs from kindergarten to High School)
Public high schools include:
- College of Staten Island High School for International Studies
- Curtis High School
- Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School
- New Dorp High School
- Petrides High School
- Port Richmond High School
- Staten Island Technical High School
- Susan E. Wagner High School
- Tottenville High School
- Ralph R. McKee CTE High School
Private schools in Staten Island
Staten Island Academy is the only independent private (non-public, non-religious) grade school on the island and is one of the oldest in the entire country.
Non-denominational – Christian
- Gateway Academy
Moore Catholic and St. Joseph by the Sea are the only co-educational Catholic high schools on the island.
- Miraj Islamic School
- NYC Department of Transportation (Staten Island Ferry)
- NYC Transit buses (local service on Staten Island and express service to Manhattan)
- Staten Island Railway service from St. George to Tottenville
- Richmond University Medical Center
- Staten Island University Hospital
Colleges and universities
The College of Staten Island is one of the eleven senior colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY). The college offers both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. The College of Staten Island also offers post-graduate level study from master’s to doctoral level study.
Wagner College is a coeducational private liberal arts college with an enrollment of 1,900 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. The college is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
St. John’s University has a campus on Staten Island. It is a private, coeducational Roman Catholic university.
The Staten Island Ferry provides travel between lower Manhattan and the St. George Ferry Terminal.
Staten Island is connected to New Jersey via three vehicular bridges and one railroad bridge. The Outerbridge Crossing to Perth Amboy, New Jersey is at the southern end of Route 440 and the Bayonne Bridge to Bayonne, New Jersey is at the northern end of Route 440, which continues into Jersey City, New Jersey. From the New Jersey Turnpike, the Goethals Bridge using I-278 connects to the Staten Island Expressway. The Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Railroad Bridge carries freight between the northwest part of the island and Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Unlike the other four boroughs of New York, but like many suburbs, Staten Island has no large, numbered grid system. New Dorp’s grid has a few numbered streets but they do not intersect with any numbered avenues. Some neighborhoods, however, organize their street names alphabetically.
Staten Island is connected to Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge using I-278, the Staten Island Expressway. Once in Brooklyn, I-278 becomes the Gowanus Expressway and then the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, providing access to Manhattan through various tunnels and bridges.
Staten Island was, at one point, concurrently home to the longest vertical lift bridge, steel arch bridge, and suspension bridge in the world; the Arthur Kill Bridge, Bayonne Bridge, and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, respectively. The Arthur Kill Bridge still holds the title for longest vertical lift bridge, while the Bayonne and Verrazano bridges are now the 4th and 8th longest, in their respective categories.
The only pedestrian link to Staten Island is via a footpath on the Bayonne Bridge.
Staten Island is the most auto-centric borough in New York City, with only 18.4% of all households being autoless. Citywide, the rate is 55%.
Public transportation on the island is limited to:
The Staten Island Ferry is the only direct transportation network from Staten Island to Manhattan, roughly a 25 minute trip. The St. George ferry terminal built in 1950 recently underwent a $130-million renovation and now features floor-to-ceiling glass for panoramic views of the harbor and incoming ferries. The ferry had its fare eliminated in 1997. Currently, the Staten Island Ferry is undergoing ramp renovations that are speculated to be complete in 2014. The Staten Island Ferry holds over 60,000 passengers per day. The ferry makes the 25 minute trip across New York Harbor 109 times every weekday, while utilizing five boats, and 75 times on Saturdays and 68 times every Sunday, using a three boat fleet.
The Staten Island Railway operates along the Richmond/Amboy Roads corridor.
The Staten Island Railway traverses the island from its northeastern tip to its southwestern tip. The Staten Island Railway was built in 1871 and was owned and operated by Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) until July 1, 1971 when the line was bought by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The Staten Island Railway continued to have its own railway police, the Staten Island Rapid Transit Police until 2005 when the 25 officer police force was consolidated into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police. MTA Police officers patrol the Island’s only passenger railway. Staten Island is the only borough not serviced by the New York City Subway, as the Staten Island Tunnel was abandoned in the middle of construction in the 1920s. It lies dormant beneath Owl’s Head Park in Brooklyn. As such, express bus service is provided by NYC Transit throughout Staten Island to Lower and Midtown Manhattan.
Staten Island Rapid Transit Police Patch
Abandoned rights of way
A five mile right of way exists along the north shore of Staten Island. The rail line was built, owned and operated by the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad which utilized the line for passenger service until March 1953. It then became a Baltimore and Ohio Railroad freight line until the 1980s, when freight service was stopped. There have been proposals to revive the abandoned North Shore Branch of the Staten Island Railway for passenger service. There is also a proposal to build a West Shore Line in the center of the Dr. Martin Luther King Expressway, Staten Island Expressway, and West Shore Expressway, continuing to Richmond Valley, Staten Island to connect with the main line of the Staten Island Railway. (See Staten Island light rail). The South Beach Branch, which took summer vacationers to South Beach, Staten Island, also ceased service in March 1953.
CSX operates a class I short line freight rail service with a 38 acres (15 ha) intermodel on-dock rail facility on the southern end of Staten Island which connects to the National Rail System via the Arthur Kill Rail Bridge to New Jersey. In addition to the intermodel on-dock rail yard, the CSX Staten Island Rail line also connects to the Sanitation departments waste transfer station. CSX railroad police officers patrol and respond emergencies along the freight line.
NYC Transit provides local and limited bus service with over 30 lines throughout Staten Island. Most lines feed into the St. George Ferry Terminal in the northeastern corner of the borough.
Two lines (the S53/93 and S79) provide local/limited service over the Verazzano Bridge to Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The S79 is the first Select Bus Service route in the borough, although it does not feature off-board fare payment characteristic of other +SBS+ lines.
Express bus service to Manhattan via the Verrazano Bridge and BQE is also available for a $6.00 fare each way. The X1, X10, and X17 are the only ones to run outside of rush hour. The X17 received Sunday service on September 30, 2012, and also makes a stop in Bay Ridge to compensate for the loss of the X28 in that area. In January 2013, the X1 became the first express bus route to receive 24/7 service. See here: http://www.mta.info/mta/2012_13_investment.html
Beginning September 4, 2007, the MTA began offering bus service from Staten Island to Bayonne, New Jersey over the Bayonne Bridge via the S89 bus. It allows passengers to connect to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail’s 34th St. Station, giving Staten Island residents a new route into Manhattan. It is notably, despite Staten Island’s proximity to New Jersey, the only route directly into New Jersey from Staten Island via public transportation.
Staten Island is the only borough without a hospital operated by New York City.
All information about Staten Island courtesy of Wikipedia.