Old Place Creek
Old Place Creek, formerly known as Slade Berman/ BK Union Gas, encompasses 69.74 acres of critical tidal and subtidal wetland habitat located in northwestern Staten Island, Richmond County.
The headwaters for the creek begin in the forested wetlands of Graniteville Swamp Woods, and then slowly meander toward the northern end of the Arthur Kill next to Goethals Bridge, providing a wonderful stretch of tidal salt marsh.
Old place Creek is the perfect place to enjoy several passive recreational activities, including nature observation, bird watching, and photography.
Picture of Old Place Mill in the 1800s
(Ira K. Morris, 1898)
At one time known as Tunissens's Creek, Old Place Creek obtained its name by area locals who would gather together for worship and religious services at an old building located along the road.
Over time the building became increasingly more dilapidated, thereby requiring the community members to choose a new location to come together.
This new location, however, proved to be far less convenient for members to access. In light of this, repairs began to fix the original building, and immediately thereafter services were resumed at what was now known as the "old place."
Stretching far across the landscape, a veritable sea of lush grasses fill the many acres within Old Place Creek Wetlands with the soothing sight of rolling waves of green.
Primarily dominated by cord grass (Spartina alterniflora and Spartina patens), spike grass (Distichlis spicata), common reed and cattail (Typha latifolia), and marsh elder (Iva frutescens), the saltwater wetlands have extremely high biological productivity, making them an excellent habitat for many varieties of fish, birds, and insects.
Wading birds in particular forage extensively on the plentiful supplies of fish and invertebrates found within the marshes, including bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), striped bass (Morone saxatilis), and young winter flounder (Pseudopleuronectes americanus).
For example, black-crowned night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax), snowy egret (Egretta thula), glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus), cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), great egret (Casmerodius albus), green-backed heron (Butorides striatus), yellow-crowned night-heron (Nyctanassa violacea), and little blue heron (Egretta caerulea) have all been identified within the area.
In addition, many species of nesting waterfowl have also made use of the critical wetland habitat within Old Place Creek, including the American black duck (Anas rubripes), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), green-winged teal (Anans crecca), blue-winged teal (Anas discors), wood duck (Aix sponsa), Canadian goose (Branta canadensis), and the gadwall (Anas strepera).
Bounded by Forest Ave and Gulf Ave on its southeastern section, Old Place Creek Wetlands is located behind Keyspan near the Goethals Bridge Toll Booth. Parking may be accessed from the shoulder of the road.
***Stay Safe- Bring a Friend When Visiting the Property***
State Forest Regulations
For your safety and protection of the resource, the following regulations are in place:
- All State Properties are Carry in- Carry Out facilities
- Unauthorized cutting of live trees or new trail building is prohibited
- No hunting is allowed on any Region 2 NYS DEC properties
- Fishing is allowed in compliance with State regulations
- No camping is allowed
- Keep pets under control and on leash while other forest users are around
- Unauthorized use of off-road motorized vehicles is prohibited. This includes cars, trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles.
State Forest Office (M-F, 8 am- 4 pm): 718.482.4942
More about Old Place Creek:
- Old Place Creek Map - A map of Old Place Creek