The North Shore of Staten Island has a serious shortage of open space. Most studied subareas of Northern Staten Island offer less land than the standard of 1.5 acres per thousand people, as delineated by New York City. For example, the Port Richmond Subarea offers 1.2 acres per 1,000 people, while the Elm Park-Mariner’s Harbor Subarea only offers 0.6 acres of land per thousand people.
Because parks are critical for recreation and socialization of all age groups, it is important that these subareas have high ratios of green space per person. Not only is land limited in Northern Staten Island, but recreational facilities in the existing parks are also inadequate. For example, the Esplanade that runs along Richmond Terrace from the Staten Island Ferry to Westervelt Avenue remains largely unoccupied despite the installment of park benches, trees, and lights. Perhaps this is due to its short length, lack of significant attractions, and severely limited access to the waterfront. The path only crosses the waterfront at the ferry terminal; the two cross again a mile from the terminal but far from the Esplanade and in a weedy lot.