Environmental Initiatives

Some initiatives enhance facilities across the Port Authority, like our programs that address climate change, air quality, coastal ecosystems and energy. Others are focused on our facilities, like airports, the PATH, bridges and tunnels, ports and real estate.

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Liberty Park Provides Green Space Overlooking World Trade Center Site

Liberty Park – Lower Manhattan’s newest and first elevated linear park above Liberty Street on the World Trade Center site – opened to the public at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29.

The park, a smaller scale version of Manhattan’s iconic High Line, was built atop the World Trade Center Vehicle Security Center and surrounds the future St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church. It will provide workers, residents, and tourists a tranquil setting overlooking the National September 11 Memorial Plaza and One World Trade Center.

The park has a capacity for 750 people and contains 19 planters filled with trees, shrubs, and perennials.

A sapling grown from the original horse chestnut tree that grew outside Anne Frank’s Netherlands home was planted in the park in May 2016. Ten additional saplings from this tree have been planted at various locations around the United States.

One of Liberty Park’s most striking features is a Living Wall: a creative vertical garden that runs along the north-facing façade of Liberty Street and masks the driveways to the Vehicle Security Center. The Living Wall runs 336 feet long and stands 25 feet high; it was built with a total of 826 panels which is filled with 22,356 plants of six different varieties: 3,849 Baltic Ivies; 3,657 Common Periwinkles; 3,490 Coral Bells, 5,782 Golden Stars; 3,734 Japanese Spurges’ and 1,844 vines of Wintercreeper. This combined plant palette was chosen to thrive vertically in a partially shaded location.

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The chosen plant species each have a different color, leaf texture and size, and growth habit. From a landscaping perspective, the species work together to soften the scale and façade of the building, as well as to provide year-round visual interest. An 18-zone drip irrigation system has been placed strategically to water the plants while small gutters catch extra water that may not be absorbed.

Liberty Park also serves as a green roof and demonstrates several other sustainable features including LED lighting plus guardrails and benches fashioned from reclaimed teakwood.

For older updates on initiatives, visit our archive.

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