FDR Four Freedoms State Park, Cool Green Oasis in a Hot City


The long, hot days of summer can be a brutal experience in the city. The concrete and asphalt reflect the heat back up at you, and the dry air seems to suck all the moisture out of your skin. But just across the river, there’s a cool green oasis waiting for you.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

A Cool Green Oasis – Plus

Roosevelt Island is home to FDR Four Freedoms State Park, a green respite from the dry, oppressive heat of Manhattan and Queens.

FDR Four Freedoms State Park is, as much as anything else – maybe more – a spiritual oasis. Remembering President Roosevelt and his commitment to human rights charges us with universal emotions.

With its shaded paths and refreshingly cool breezes, the park provides a much-needed escape from the city’s blazing summer temperatures.

See also: Four Freedoms: Spoken Words on a New York City Island

Looking for an escape from the heat this summer? Head on over to FDR Four Freedoms State Park. An oasis of serenity and comfort awaits.

Monolithic blocks holding the four freedoms firmly in place set against the United Nations, the institution they helped put in place.
Sun and humidity create a heat bubble swelling over Manhattan. Across the East River from the perfected linden tree leaves, the urban spaces seem near melting. Contrast with this green oasis on Roosevelt Island is greater than the water between.

Every year, 370 people on average die from heat-related causes in New York City, and there aren’t enough public cooling centers. Even elsewhere on Roosevelt Island, there is no relief overnight when heat-related illnesses are most frequent.

But in the park, there’s peace and coolness available to everyone. That’s a freedom too often not celebrated for its life-giving values.

A crowded city where cooling breezes heat up between sun-drenched towers and burning hot sidewalks.

Freedom Is Nature. Freedom Is Quiet

Even when the occasional helicopter or floatplane passes, they are distant, part of another world across the water.

The linden tree rows, still infants, filter sunlight into dappled patterns cooled in shade.
The usually unseen architecture of the tree. The interior of linden trees is mostly hollow. The branches pump fluids while guiding the leaves to maximum sunlight. They suck up the carbon that otherwise pollutes the air, sending it downward where it feeds a vast underground universe of life.
A light wind tickles the linden trees as Long Island City swelters beyond.
The welcome is out for everyone. Colorful Adirondack chairs, assembled by volunteers, let you settle into the freedoms of this green oasis and sink into the serenity.

And Just One More Thing

Hats off to the New York State Parks. The department’s commitment to keeping FDR Four Freedoms Park vibrant shows up everywhere.

Under a hot sun with temperatures pushing 90, Parks employees stick with task of keeping Four Freedoms Park clean. Everyone else was in the shade.

Also on Roosevelt Island…

The original Roosevelt Island Tram passes the cornerstone of the even older Queensborough Bridge. Fine Art Photography Print by Deborah Julian.

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