Floyd Bennett Field

Brooklyn, NY


Cross County Parkway

Hutchinson Parkway

Whitestone Bridge

Van Wyck Expressway (US 678)

27.6 Belt Parkway

JFK airport

37.8 exit 11S Flatbush Avenue 19.6 miles from Whitestone Bridge

38.2 arrive at visitor's center

The entrance to Floyd Bennett Field is on Flatbush Avenue. It is 1.25 miles south of the Belt Parkway (exit 11-S). The entrance is at the traffic light just before the toll plaza for the Marine Parkway Bridge (to the Rockaways). Once inside you will see a visitors center and parking lot on the right side. After that there is a left turn onto a four lane road. Turn left here. This road has steel traffic barriers on either side.


It was dedicated by Mayor James J. Walker in 1931 and named for Floyd Bennett, the aviator who piloted Admiral Byrd across the North Pole in 1926.

Floyd Bennett Field was New York City's first municipal airport where many aviation records were set in the 1930's. It became a naval air station in 1941 and was decommissioned in 1972.

From the (1939) WPA Guide to New York City:

The field's strategic location, its long runways and clear approaches have made it a frequent base for long distance flights. The first was the nonstop transatlantic trip of 5,014 miles to Istanbul, Turkey, made in 1931 by Russell Boardman and John Polando. In 1933 Wiley Post began and ended here his sensational solo flight around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, and 49 1/2 minutes. In 1938 Howard Hughes and four companions embarking from Floyd Bennett Field, circled the globe and reduced Post's record to 3 days, 19 hours, and 8 minutes. Others who have taken off from the airport on noted flights include Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, Jr., James Mattern and Bennett Griffin, Roscoe Turner, the flying Hutchinson family, and Frank Hawks. The field is the official eastern terminal for all coast-to-coast record flights made under the supervision of the National Aviation Association Contest Committee. The register of the airport, signed by all flyers as they arrive and leave, is a signal collection of names famous in aviation history.

The site contains historic Hangar Row, the North 40 Nature Trail and miles of open runways for cycling or in-line skating. Festivals, outdoor concerts and other special events are held here during the summer and fall seasons. The Ryan Visitor Center is located on Hangar Row.

A party of three Torreyites including the field leader met at 9:00 at the entrance of Floyd Bennett Field for the purpose of identifying the late spring flora of the area. We visited dry fields, shrub-dominated areas, a salt marsh, and a dune area where we observed the following species:

Acer negundo (box elder maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Achillea millefolium (yarrow)
Actaea alba (doll's eyes)
Agrimonia sp. (agrimony)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) 5/15/99 6/04/94
Allium tricoccum (wild leek)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Anemone quinquefolia (wood anemone)
Apocynum sp. (dogbane)
Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla)
Aralia racemosa (spikenard)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (jack-in-the-pulpit) 5/15/99
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 5/15/99
Beberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Boehmeria cylindrica (false nettle)
Bromus tectorum?
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse) 5/15/99 6/04/94
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)
Carya cordiformis (bitternut hickory)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya tomentosa (mockernut hickory)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed) 6/04/94
Chimaphila maculata (spotted wintergreen)
Cimicifuga racemosa (American bugbane)
Clethra alnifolia (sweet pepperbush)
Collinsonia canadensis (horsebalm)
Commelina communis (Asiatic dayflower)
Cornus alternifolia (alternate-leaved dogwood)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood) 5/15/99
Crataegus spp. (hawthorn) 5/15/99
Cryptotaenia candensis (honewort)
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Daucus carota (Queen Anne's lace)
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman's breeches) a few in here according to Bruce Vogel
Dipsacus fullonum (teasel)
Duchesnea indica (Indian strawberry)
Epipactis helleborine (helleborine orchard)
Erythronium americanum (trout lily) in here according to Bruce Vogel
Eubotrys racemosa (fetterbush) 5/15/99
Eupatorium sp. (joe-pye-weed)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Galium aparine (cleavers bedstraw) 5/15/99
Galium triflorum (sweet-scented bedstraw)
Geranium maculatum (wild geranium) 5/15/99
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)
Laportea canadensis (wood nettle)
Lindera benzoin (spice bush)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) 6/04/95
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Lonicera sp. (honeysuckle) 6/04/94
Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)
Lysimachia quadrifolia (whorled loosestrife)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Magnolia macrophylla (big-leaf magnolia) in here according to Bruce Vogel
Medeola virginiana (cucumber root) in here according to Bruce Vogel
Morus rubra (red mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Osmorhiza longistylis (aniseroot) 5/15/99
Oxalis stricta (yellow wood sorrel) 5/15/99
Panicum clandestinum (deer tongue grass)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Plantago lanceolata (English plantain) 5/15/99 6/04/94
Poa annua (annual bluegrass) 5/15/99
Podophyllum peltatum (may apple)
Polygonatum biflorum (true Solomon's seal) 5/15/99 6/04/94
Polygonatum pubescens (hairy true Solomon's seal) 5/15/99
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum virginiana (jumpseed)
Populus deltoides (cottonwood)
Potentilla simplex (common cinquefoil) 6/04/94
Prenanthese altissima (tall lettuce)
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus serotina (black cherry) 5/15/99
Pyrus calleriana (callory pear) spelling?
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaved buttercup)
Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn)
Rhamnus frangula (European buckthorn)
Rhododendron viscosum (swamp azalea)
Rhodotypos scandens (jetbead) 5/15/99
Ribes sativum (garden red currant)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Rosa multiflora (multi-flora rose) 6/04/94
Rubus alleghaniensis (common blackberry) 6/04/94
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus flagellaris (dewberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry) 6/04/94
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sambucus canadensis (common elderberry)
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot) in here according to Bruce Vogel
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)
Smilacina racemosa (false Solomon's seal) 6/04/94
Smilax herbacea (carrion flower)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Stellaria media (common chickweed) 5/15/99
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 5/15/99
Thalictrum pubescens (tall meadow-rue) 6/04/94
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Trifolium pratense (red clover)
Trifolium repens (white clover) 5/15/99 6/04/94
Ulmus americana (American elm)
Uvularia sessilifolia (sessile-leaved bellwoot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) 6/04/94
Viburnum dentatum var. dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum opulus var. opulus (guelder rose viburnum) 5/15/99
Viburnum plicatum (double-file viburnum) 5/15/99
Viburnum sieboldii (Siebold's viburnum) 5/15/99
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 5/15/99
Vitis sp. (fox or summer grape)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Adiantum pedatum (northern maidenhair fern)
Athyrium filix-femina (lady fern)
Botrychium virginianum (rattlesnake fern)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Dryopteris spinulosa (spinulose wood fern)
Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern)
Osmunda cinnamomea (cinnamon fern)
Osmunda claytoniana (interrupted fern)
Osmunda regalis (royal fern)
Thelypteris noveboracensis (New York fern)
Thelypteris phegopteris (Northern beech fern)

FLOYD BENNETT FIELD; March 31, 1940.

Salt marshes are perhaps the least affected by adverse climatic conditions of any of our native habitats and are interesting throughout the year. The winter season really has one advantage in that there are no mosquitoes. The area which was visited -- salt marshes west of Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn -- is one of the very last bits of natural terrain within the limits of New York City, but with the projected improvements in connection with Marine Park this wild condition will probably not endure.

On the elevated portions of the salt marsh can be found a good growth of Baccharis and Iva, our two shrubby composites. There are plants of seaside goldenrod, a peculiar Lactuca, various grasses and sedges, and in the fall the marsh borders are rimmed with Sabatia stellaris. One of these little islands is a miniature sand dune covered with Hudsonia tomentosa, associated with Cyperus grayii and Carex silicea. The remains of Salicornia europaea and the perennial S ambigua were here in abundance, also Atriplex patula, A arenaria, and Suaeda linearis. Distichlis spicata and Juncus gerardi form the chief grass-matting of the salt marsh. In the wetter places there is plenty of Spartina glabra var. alterniflora; this flowers when only a few inches high at the sandy borders of the marsh, whereas the same species may begin to flower when four or five feet in height in the deep waters of creeks. Spartina patens is abundant in moist places, with the coarser var juncea usually occupying crests of dunes. Eragrostis spectabilis I s one of the most abundant grasses, turning bright red in late fall. Limonium (sea lavender) and Phragmites are abundantly represented, as they are at the borders of practically every salt marsh.

It may be added that the vegetation of the salt marsh is one of the most difficult from the point of view of species identification. It has not been well studied, and the amateur can add a great deal to the information given in manuals. Ten members of the club enjoyed the trip.

Trip leader, Henry K. Svenson.

Floyd Bennett Field, Queens, NY, September 21, 1996.

On a beautiful clear day a joint group of the Torrey and Long Island Botanical Societies met to tour the dry fields and salt marsh at Floyd Bennett Field. Among the plants in bloom in the dry fields and roadsides were Amaranthus retroflexus, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Artemesia vulgaris, Aster pilosus, Centaurea dubia and C. maculosa, Chenopodium album, Cichorium intybus, Cirsium vulgare, Conyza canadensis, Coreopsis lanceolata, Datura stramonium, Erigeron annuus, Eupatorium hyssopifolium, Euthamia graminifolia, Gnaphalium obtusifolium, Heterotheca subaxillaris, Hypericum gentianoides, Lactuca serriola, Linaria vulgaris, Melilotus alba, Oenothera biennis, Polygonella articulata, Polygonum arenastrum, Rudbeckia hirta v pulcherrima, Saponaria officinalis, Solidago canadensis v altissima, S. juncea, and S. sempervirens, Strophostyles helvula, and Xanthium strumarium v. glabratum. Blooming in the moister areas were Polygonum cespitosum, Polygonum lapathifolium, Polygonum pensylvanicum, and Polygonum punctatum. Among the plants not in bloom in the dry areas were Cladonia cristatella, Cycloloma atriplicifolium, Elaeagnus umbellata, Hudsonia tomentosa, Lechea maritima, Lespedeza capitata, Pinus thunbergii, Polygonum scandens, Rhus copallina, and Solanum carolinense and S. dulcamara. Quite a stir occurred when someone discovered a monarch butterfly caterpillar on the Asclepias syriaca along with myriads of milkweed beetles.

On the beach and salt marsh areas there were a few species in bloom including Atriplex patula, Cakile edentula, Chenopodium ambrosioides, and Mollugo verticillata. Other plants were Salsola kali and Teucrium canadense.

Total attendance was 8. The leader was Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.