Forest Park is an urban forest, one of the natural treasures of the New York City borough of Queens. It has an area of 538 acres (2.15 km²). The park is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
Starting in 1896, the landscaping firm of Olmsted, Olmsted & Eliot was contracted to provide a plan for the park. Frederick Law Olmsted surveyed the park and designed the Forest Park Drive. As Olmsted noted in 1895, the park is bisected by several transportation arteries; two lines of the Long Island Rail Road, the Montauk Branch and the Rockaway Beach Branch, ran through the land before Forest Park was acquired. Although only the Montauk Line still operates today, Forest Park is divided by Woodhaven Boulevard and the Jackie Robinson Parkway, which was completed in 1935. Despite these thoroughfares, Forest Park is the third-largest park in Queens, and contains the largest continuous oak forest in Queens and a golf course. Forest Park is bounded by Myrtle Avenue, Union Turnpike, Park Lane, Park Lane South, Cypress Hills Cemetery, and Kew Gardens.
Forest Park now contains several species of trees, including the Northern red oak (Quercus rubra), Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea), tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), White oak (Quercus alba), and Wild black cherry (Prunus serrotina). Several trees here are more than 150 years old, and create a canopy with an under-layer of Dogwood (genus Cornus), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and Corktree (Genus Phellodendron). The park was ravaged in 1912 by a chestnut blight, and - for a time - was used for lumbering; about the same time, greenhouses were set up to grow plants for parks throughout the city. These have since been moved to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Bronx Park.
A 9-hole golf course opened in 1901. Its club house, which was designed in the Dutch Colonial Revival style by the firm of Helmle, Huberty & Hudswell (who also designed the Williamsburgh Savings Bank tower), and which now houses the the park's Administration Office, first opened in 1905.
Carousels designed by Daniel Muller were added in 1918, with one of them destroyed by fire in 1966, and the other in 1972.
Jackson Pond was used for fishing and ice skating, but was filled in for redevelopment.