Clove Lakes Park
With valuable ecological assets, Clove Lakes Park has a rich natural history and a few remnants of the past. Chief among them are the park's lakes and ponds, outcroppings of serpentine rocks, and Staten Island's largest living thing, a 300-year-old tulip tree. Clove Lakes Park is home to many species of indigenous wildlife. Visitors can see fish such as brown bullhead, bluegill, pumpkinseed, largemouth bass, and carp; birds such as red-tailed hawk, belted kingfisher, double-crested cormorant, red-winged blackbird, Canada goose, and mallard: as well as reptiles and amphibians, like the common snapping turtle, eastern painted turtle, red-eared slider, and occasionally even the red-backed salamander. The park is also home to mammals such as eastern gray squirrel, muskrat, eastern cottontail, and eastern chipmunk.
Interstate 278, built in 1964, goes through the cleft inside the park to connect the roadway to major interchanges at the then-newly built Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to the East and the Goethals Bridge to the West. When first proposed, the expressway was to be named the Clove Lake Expressway.
The park is known for its cozy picnic accommodations and boating. Besides strolling down trails and paddling on its bodies of water to appreciate its beauty, visitors can also experience the park as a more modern recreation zone. Several baseball diamonds, a soccer field, basketball court, playgrounds, and football field dot the park's landscape. The Staten Island World War II Veteran's Memorial Ice Skating Rink is an outdoor rink located in what could be called the "active" part of the park, close to its other fields and courts.
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