Conference House Park is 267 acres at the south end of Staten Island. Its 1.2 miles of beach are on Raritan Bay, which opens to the Atlantic Ocean near Sandy Hook, NJ. Ocean waters and oceangoing ships enter and exit New York Harbor through the Arthur Kill, which runs between New Jersey and Staten Island.
The park's name comes from the landmarked circa-1680 Billopp House, which was the site in 1776 of the only Revolutionary War peace conference--thus the Conference House and Conference House Park. The meeting is re-enacted each year on the weekend closest to September 11, the date of the conference.
Although the Conference House is the centerpiece of the park, it is only one of many reasons to visit. The park features three other historic houses, the National Historic Landmark Lenape Native American archeological site, beaches, recreational facilities, hiking and bike trails, and one-of-a-kind natural areas, such as the sole hackberry-tree forest in New York State. The beachfront is also a major spawning ground for horseshoe crabs on the East Coast.
The park is the southernmost point in New York State, which is denoted by a marker on the beach inscribed "South Pole."
Biddle House in the background, Rutan House in the foreground.
The Conference House Park Conservancy was established in 2010 to protect, develop, unify and promote the historic, cultural, natural and recreational features of Conference House Park and to stimulate financial and community support for the park in partnership with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Conservancy is a New York State not-for profit corporation, awaiting designation as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. The Conservancy is governed by a Board composed of community and business leaders from Staten Island. It is currently staffed by volunteers.
The primary purpose of the Conservancy is to promote awareness and utilization of the park through marketing, advocacy, education and special events and to secure financial support and resources for the operation, maintenance and improvements to the park.