NEW YORK – If a Queens, NY, architectural firm and a Brooklyn rooftop-farm builder get their way, a derelict Long Island Railway (LIRR) spur in Long Island City, Queens, will become the Wild Line—a nature sanctuary that’s a shorter, greener, wilder version of Manhattan’s popular High Line.
According to a proposal put forward earlier this year by BanG studio and Brooklyn Grange, the Wild Line will feature imaginative ways for urbanites to experience wild nature—and as on the High Line, public art will be an important part of the mix.
The tracks, elevated about sixteen feet, are known as the Montauk Cutoff, and years ago they connected rail yards in nearby Sunnyside with a line that ran all the way out to the end of Long Island.
Under the proposal, one of several in response to the LIRR’s 2015 Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI), the Wild Line would be rich with native plants, grasses and perennial flowers, and would be dotted with “bug hotels” and other whimsically designed sculptural structures aimed at attracting pollinating insects, birds and other wildlife.
At the northern end of the Wild Line, Firefly Field would be installed—a set of aluminum posts topped with glowing lights that blink on and off, firefly fashion.
At its southern end, the line would become a refuge for birds, bats, raccoons, and other wild things—including feral cats. Human visitors would be excluded.
The LIRR is mulling over the proposal, and the other responses to its RFEI, and is expected to issue a formal Request for Proposals soon.