Blood Root Valley Park is loosely bordered by Forest Hill Road, Eastman Avenue, Manor Road, and Rockland Avenue. It is also connected to Willowbrook Park, LaTourette Park, and High Rock Park.Bloodroot Valley is also the location of the Greenbelt Nature center. The center hosts a number of inforational sessions about the park, looks at its history as well a provide insigt into the plantlife and animal species that exisit in the park. Nearby neighborhoods are Lighthouse Hill, and Willowbrook.

Blood Root Valley Park was given to the Department of Parks and Recreation in 1994 by the City of New York. This is one of the many parks that make up the Greenbelt. Blood Root Valley Park gets its name from the bloodroot plant. This is a rare plant which, on Staten Island, can only be found in this park. Prior to being known as Blood Root Valley Park, it was known as Black Horse Ravine and Valley of Dead Man's Creek. It was known as Black Horse Ravine because, during the Revolution, a British messenger used to ride between the British forts through this area. It got the name Valley of Dead Man's Creek because of a dead man that was found by the creek in this area.

The bloodroot plant was found to be useful for dyes, medicine, and dental hygiene. Native Americans were the first to use this plant as paint, dyes, and medicine. They used the plant as paint for war paint and the decoration of tools and weapons. They used it as a dye for baskets and clothing. The medicine men used the plant for the trail_400treatment of ulcers, ringworm, fever, rheumatism, and skin infections. The plant is no longer used for medicinal purposes at this time. But there are studies for it to be used as an anti-cancer agent in skin cancer and also as a dissolving agent for skin growths. Lastly, the bloodroot plant extract is used in toothpastes and mouthwash as an anti-plaque agent.

This park not only holds the bloodroot plant, but many other threatened plant and animal species, as well. Some of these plants are the blue cohosh, Virginia waterleaf, and sweet cicely. Some of the animals which reside here are the peregrine falcon, the red-shouldered hawk, and the arogos skipper (which is a small butterfly).

Along with the trail that runs through Blood Root Valley Park, you will also find the headquarters of the Greenbelt Recreation Center. This center is located at 501 Brielle Avenue. To be able to access the facilities in the Greenbelt Recreation Center you must be a member. Membership fees are paid yearly-- for children under 18 it is free; for adults aged 18–61, it costs $100 for centers without indoor pools and $150 for centers with indoor pools; and for seniors aged 62 and up it costs $25 for all centers.

There are outdoor and indoor recreation activities at the Greenbelt Recreation Center. For the outdoor recreation activities, there is a soccer field, two tennis courts, two basketball courts, a croquet lawn, a playground, and a nature trail. The indoor recreation center has cardio and strength training fitness rooms, an arts and crafts room, a computer resource center, a game room (with a pool table, three ping pong tables, and a knock hockey table), a library, and two locker rooms (one for men and another for women). Along with these facilities, they offer programs, classes and activities of all sorts for the whole family.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on


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