The word "clove" is an Anglicization of the Dutch word "kloven", which translates to "cleft" in English. Clove Lakes Park was named for the valley and brook which were formed in what is now known as the neighborhood Sunnyside, between Emerson Hill and Grymes Hill. During the late 1600's and mid-1800's, many dams were built along the brook, forming the various bodies of water within the park. (Photo below © the bridge at Clove Lake)
On September 1, 1923, the city of New York acquired the now nearly 200-acre area of Clove Lakes Park, which at the time had been occupied by four old barns. The construction of the park, which is surrounded mainly by Slosson Avenue, Victory Boulevard, and Clove Road, began in the 1930's with the addition of what is now called Stonehenge, the building which holds the restrooms. Since then, many wonderful features have been added to the park. However, some have been there all along, such as Staten Island's largest organism, the 107-foot tall, 300-year-old tulip tree.
If you love the outdoors, there are many recreational activities in which you can participate within the park. There is a 650-yard fitness path and a 3-mile hiking trail, which brings you to the Lake Club, Clove Lakes Park's restaurant. On the weekends between May and October, the park allows you to rent paddle boats and rowboats which you can use in their lakes. As for sports, there are baseball, soccer and football fields, a basketball court, and the Staten Island War Memorial Ice Skating Rink, which is also only open during the weekend. There are also two playgrounds located in the park, which are both wheelchair-accessible. The park itself borders Sunnyside to the south, Castleton Corners to the west, West Brighton to the north, Sunset Hill to the east. Co-ops known as "The Fountains" sit directly at the rear of the park as well.
Clove Lakes Park is protected by the Forever Wild Program, which makes it great for the many events held in the park. A supervised, annual Snow Day event is held every winter at the park, which offers sledding, contests, free hot chocolate, and much more. Many arts and crafts-related events are held on holidays such as Easter and Father's Day. Perhaps the greatest event of all is the volunteer clean-up, hosted by the Friends of Clove Lakes Park. Volunteers go through not only the land, but the lakes as well, to maintain the park's beauty.
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