Eibs Pond Park Preserve
Eibs Pond Park Preserve, 39 acres of wetlands, located on the southern edge of Celebration at Rainbow Hill, lies below rolling hills covered by blue stem grass with sweeping views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the harbor. The clay-bottomed pond itself covers three acres, making it the largest kettle pond in New York City.
The pond was created over 15,000 years ago as one of the "kettle ponds" left by the receding Wisconsin Glacier, and receives fresh water from precipitation and the groundwater table. There are actually three main ponds - Hattie's Pond, Eibs Pond, and Small Pond.
Eibs Pond was named for a German-American family who owned land in the area during the 1800s. They used the pond as a watering hole for their horses and the cows on their adjacent dairy farm. Eibs Pond was a favorite fishing, swimming, and skating spot for local children in the 1870s.Descendants of the Eibs family continued to live on this site until 1971.
Several episodes of The Perils of Pauline, starring Pearl White and Milton Berle were filmed in the area from 1914-1917. In 1914, D.W. Griffith directed the racist film, Birth of a Nation, shooting Civil War battle sequences around the pond.
From 1915 until 1935, Eibs Pond served as a water hazard for the Fox Hill Golf Links. During the winter, club members would participate in curling competitions on the frozen pond.
The Pond later became a dumping ground, and was subsequently purchased for development, but was saved with the passage of the Wetlands Protection Act. The land was donated to the Trust for Public Land ("TPL") in return for a generous tax cut. The TPL later gave 8.14 acres including the pond to New York State. The Pond is now classified as a Class I- Protected Wetland, the highest form of protection. More information about activities at Eibs Pond can be found at Eibs Pond Education Program website.
The pond is fringed by cattail, sassafras, and fragrant water lilies. Snowy egrets, bluegill sunfish, large-mouth bass, painted turtles, Canadian geese, ducks, and muskrats all live in or use the pond. Starting in late June, visitors to Eibs Pond Park can enjoy a glimpse of monarch butterflies as they travel through the city.