Science, Tech & Environment

Former airport turned campground a hit in the Big Apple

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Floyd Bennett Field offers campsites within New York City limits for only $20 per night. (Photo courtesy of flickr user Jason Pratt)

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The city that never sleeps now offers a place to spend the night under the stars.

This past Fourth of July weekend, Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, a division of the Gateway National Recreation Area, opened 40 campsites to the public. In the less than two months, the new campground has welcomed over 1,200 visitors with even more interested tourists inquiring from as far away as Germany and Russia. Floyd Bennett Field, a former airport, is one of very few campgrounds within the city limits of a major city.

At $20 per night for one campsite and only 15 miles away from Times Square, Floyd Bennett Field allows New Yorkers and toruists alike to see New York City's more natural side.

"The campground itself is definitely on soil, but it’s surrounded by trees. You can’t see the historic buildings or the rest of Brooklyn from the campsite,” said John Warren, the public affairs specialist at Gateway National Recreation Area.

Although Brooklyn campers don't have to worry about bears or wolves, over 500 different species of animals live at Floyd Bennett Field. Gateway National Recreation Area is stationed along the Atlantic Flyway -- a historic migration pattern for numerous bird species -- allowing hundreds of different bird species to come through the park.

Warren stated that the campsite is perfect for tourists who have always wanted to visit New York City but couldn't afford New York City hotel rates. At the same time, Warren says Floyd Bennett Field offers a great opportunity for locals.

"We also want to have the camping experience available for New Yorkers who maybe haven't had that experience before," Warren said. "They might want to get their feet wet before camping in Yellowstone or Yosemite."

In the future, Gateway National Recreation Area hopes to open 90 or more campsites at Floyd Bennett Field.

Read more on the Here and Now website.

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