Feds Plan Huge Campground - in Brooklyn

Old airfield could host 600 sites, says National Park Service

By Greg Wilson
|  Tuesday, Jun 14, 2011  |  Updated 9:58 AM EDT
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The National Park Service thinks New York City is a great place to pitch a tent.

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Roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and sleeping under the stars - in New York City?

The National Park Service is planning a 600-site campground in Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett Field, a onetime airport used by Amelia Earhart. The campground would be the largest urban tent-pitching site in the nation, according to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

"We want to make New York the leading example of what we can do around the country with urban parks," Salazar said.

The location now has just five campsites, but that number will expand to 90 over the next two years and to 600 eventually, he said.

The plan is one of several initiatives aimed at improving access to the outdoors in the New York region under President Obama's America's Great Outdoors campaign.

For now, campsites at the field are no-frills. Each has a cooking ring and picnic table and pit toilets are located a few hundred feet away.

Park ranger John Daskalakis told the Daily News there has been growing interest in city camping as  people look for cheap vacation alternatives.

"Almost every weekend in May is booked up," Daskalakis said. "We've been fairly busy for a little-known gem in Brooklyn."

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