King Fisher Park: Great Kills, Staten Island NY

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 2:59pm.

Staten Island is home to fifty-one Forever Wild Nature Preserves. In Staten Island's Great Kill's Neighborhood, you wilking_fisher_sign_400l find one of these preserves taking up roughly twenty-two acres of land.  The park is officially known as King Fisher Park; however, the preserve is known as the Islington Pond Park Preserve. For the most part, the park is bounded by Corbin Avenue to the east, Barlow Avenue and Islington Street to the south, Miles Avenue to the west, and Fairfield Street to the north.  Another eastern and western boundary, which would vertically cut through the center of the park if it were connected on both sides, is Greaves Avenue.

Stretching across Miles Avenue, from Fairfield Street to Islington Street, you will find King Fisher Park's pride and joy, King Fisher Pond. This pond was originally known as Islington Pond.  Within the pond, you can find a few different types of fish among the frogs and turtles. Islington Pond, like the park in which it occupies, had its name changed to King Fisher Pond by New York City Parks Department Commissioner Henry J. Stern, who named many of Staten Island's current parks.

For those who are unaware, the kingfisher is a type of bird.  In this case, we are speaking of a type of waterpond_1_400 kingfisher, the belted kingfisher. These birds are known to perch on branches close to bodies of water so that they can locate and catch their prey-their prey being small fish, as the birds themselves are rather small. To catch their prey, the belted kingfisher will dive headfirst into the water, without a moment's hesitation. At King Fisher Pond, you will see the birds doing exactly that, as they inhabit the park throughout the year. When the pond freezes, the belted kingfishers do not have to migrate south, as they also feed on small critters and insects.

Kingfishers aren't the only birds you will find in King Fisher Park. Among others, you have great egrets and snowy egrets, which are actually related to kingfishers. Aside from fowl, there are many other species of fauna and flora found within King Fisher Park.  The fauna are normally found by the pond and are made up of the critters spoken of above that the kingfishers will eat during the winter months.  The vegetation within King Fisher Pond is known as a climax forest. This means that you will be able to find the same beautiful species of plants within the park each year. These include black cherry, dogwood, and red maple trees, as well as two plants trail_to_corbin_400which produce pink flowers: the pink lady's slipper and the pink swamp mallow.

As you journey into the park from the entrance at Greaves Avenue and Fairfield Street, you will soon find that there are three trails located within King Fisher Park. With each trail, you will find different, but equally wonderful views of the park. The first trail serves more as the missing extension of Greaves Avenue, as it has no curves or turns. The second trail will lead you to the leftovers of an old stone wall. This wall dates back to the eighteenth century and extends through the park, until it enters and is swallowed up by King Fisher Pond.  The third trail actually gives a great view of King Fisher Pond, as it wraps around the perimeter of the pond.

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