Baisley Pond Park is a public park located in the southeastern part of the Borough of Queens in New York City, bordering the neighborhoods of South Jamaica, Rochdale, and St. Albans. It contains 109.61 acres including the 30 acres of Baisley Pond in the center of the park. It is maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Park Today:
The park is a popular place for sports and other forms of outdoor recreation. Facilities include barbecuing areas, baseball fields, basketball courts, bicycle paths, cricket fields, fitness equipment, a football field, handball courts, five children's playgrounds, a running track, a soccer field, spray showers, and tennis courts. Several parts of the park have free Wi-Fi.
The Sutphin Playground is notable for its sculpture of an American Mastodon, an extinct elephant-like animal, recalling a time in the 1850s when workers dredging the pond found the bones of an individual that lived in the area almost 10,000 years ago, just after the end of the last ice age. The Mother Carter Garden, which is surrounded by an ornamental fence and has seating with views of the pond, memorializes Laura “Mother” Carter (1914-1999), a beloved community leader. Several events take place in the park, most notably the annual Southern Queens Gospel Festival, the eighth of which took place in July 2013.
The pond itself hosts a diverse fauna and flora. It is known for its lily pads which shelter American bullfrogs. The Parks Department lists three turtle species (red-eared slider, snapping turtle, and musk turtle). Fish species include several of interest to anglers, including largemouth bass, black crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, and common carp. Many species of water birds favor the pond. Summer species include great egret, snowy egret, great blue heron, and double-crested cormorant. In winter the waterfowl population is especially large and diverse, with several species that are less common in the area, such as American wigeon, redhead, and grebes mixing with more common species like mallard and Canada goose.