Decomposing food, old furniture, the occasional dirty diaper or two…
Those are all items that can be found within smelly landfills and they are joined by tons of other garbage in these massive spaces. No one in their right mind would want to spend any amount of time near a landfill, let alone right in the middle of it, or would they?
Well, some old landfills have been turned into beautiful parks, creating fabulous green spaces where people can hang out, have fun, and play.
Here are 9 amazing parks that were created from landfills:
1 Mt. Trashmore in Virginia Beach
Mt. Trashmore has quickly become one of Virginia’s favorite parks, despite the fact that it was once a stinky place to be. Some people may think that the children’s playground is the highlight of this park, but it is the skate park that has gained national attention. The skate park is twenty-four thousand square feet and Tony Hawk is one of the many professional skateboarders that have shown up to use this space. The skate park just underwent a redesign to update and modernize the popular space and more refurbishment of the park is planned throughout 2018.
2 Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle
There are many old landfills in Seattle that have been turned into parks, but this is one of the best. Located on 230 acres on Lake Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum is jointly managed by University of Washington Botanic Gardens and the City of Seattle. The arboretum contains more than forty thousand trees and shrubs and it is where the Seattle Japanese Garden can be found. The lake inside the garden is filled with turtles and koi and it is common to see tea ceremonies taking place nearby.
3 Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground in Hong Kong
The Sai Tso Wan Recreation Ground used to hold more than one and a half million tons of garbage that reached two hundred feet in the air, but by 2004 it was turned into a beautiful park. The soccer field, baseball field, batting cages, jogging track, and playground are surrounded by solar panels and wind turbines, which make the area more eco-friendly.
4 Freshkills Park in New York City
Before being shut down, this landfill received approximately twenty-nine thousand tons of trash each day. It was that large number that made people realize that something needed to be done before the landfill was the tallest point in the city. Freshkills Park is going to be larger than Central Park once it is finally completed. At twenty-two hundred acres, only part of this park has been completed and opened to the public. When everything is completed, hopefully by 2036, there will be playgrounds, athletic fields, art work, horseback riding trails, and kayaking opportunities for everyone to enjoy.
5 César Chávez Park in Berkeley
This 90 acre city park offers breathtaking views of Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the infamous Alcatraz. However, many people spend time at César Chávez Park hiking the trails or picnicking near the water. The population inside this park explodes during the Berkeley Kite Festival every year, when many people arrive to test their kite flying skills.
6 Pulau Semakau Eco Park in Singapore
The Pulau Semakau Eco Park may be a park, but it is still an open and functioning landfill as well. Careful planning was required due to Singapore’s limited space. The landfill cum recreation area is located on an offshore island, a 20 minute ferry ride away from bustling Singapore. A nature preserve has been incorporated into this landfill and the mangroves and coral reefs are full of marine life. Guided tours are available for those people who want to explore the preserve.
7 Chambers Gully Reserve in Adelaide, Australia
Many landfills in Australia were turned into parks using money from the government, but the Chambers Gully Reserve was saved by the help of a lot of volunteers. Conservation Volunteers Australia are active in helping manage and restore the biodiversity in the area. This wide-open space is beautiful, and people can go there to view the wildlife that now lives amongst the trees. The park’s trails are particularly popular with mountain bikers and hikers.
8 Port Sunlight River Park in United Kingdom
The Port Sunlight River Park spent fifteen years as a landfill before being turned into a park with more than twelve thousand trees. People can explore the seventy acres as they look out over the city of Liverpool and catch glimpses of the animals and flowers that thrive there. Located on the Mersey Estuary, the park features wetlands, woodlands and mudflats and is home to a wide array of wildfowl.
9 Ariel Sharon Park in Tel Aviv
Hiriya was a landfill that reached twenty-five million tons of waste by 1998 and it was at that time that the landfill was permanently closed. The park was created as a way to prevent the garbage from collapsing and eventually working its way to the nearby river. This two-thousand-acre park has walking and biking paths, an amphitheater, athletic fields and more for people to enjoy. Ariel Sharon Park is not completely finished, but the sections that are, can be enjoyed by the public. Each additional section will be opened as soon as they are done.
While no one would normally stand in the middle of a landfill, they will have no reason not to at one of the ones that have been transformed into amazing parks. After all, these new parks are beautiful, and no one will believe that they are standing on top of tons of trash.