What I want to do
Freshkills Park, formerly a landfill, is under invasion!!! An invasive plant species known as phragmites is slowly starting to creep into the park. This type, believe to have arrived from Europe, has a nasty habit of killing all plant life around creating a monoculture. Freshkills Park has spent a great deal of effort in reclaiming the former landfill by importing fertile soil and reintroducing native plant species. Phragmites is attempting to undo all of this. Furthermore, the head high plant creates other potential issues including being a potential fire hazard and possibly disturbing the landfill cap. Phragmites as seen in this picture, is growing up through the pavement!
My attempt and results
Using balloon photography, we attempted to map a small area of the park in order to identify where phragmites is growing. From overhead, phragmites is a dark green color which is distinctly different from the lighter green and yellowish plant life which is currently growing on the park mounds.
We also ventured to the Norther Mound Wetlands where a restoration process has been taking place over the last year. Mapping the area show's clearly there is no phragmites in the area!!
It is important to contact the FAA if you are within radius of an airport. While mapping, we had a helicopter constantly flying by narrowly avoiding the balloon. Fortunately, he was based nearby and we were able to inform him of our work. A close call...