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Staten Island Facts for Kids


Staten Island is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull, and from the rest of New York by New York Bay.The Borough of Staten Island is coextensive with Richmond County, the southernmost county in the state of New York. Staten Island is overall the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City.

  • The North Shore — especially the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Clifton, and Stapleton — is the most urban part of the island; it contains the officially designated St. George Historic District and the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian homes.
  • The South Shore has more suburban-style residential neighborhoods.
  • Motor traffic can reach the borough from Brooklyn via the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and from New Jersey via the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge.
  • Staten Island has Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus service and an MTA rapid transit line, the Staten Island Railway, which runs from the ferry terminal at St. George to Tottenville.
  • The free Staten Island Ferry connects the borough to Manhattan and is a popular tourist attraction, providing views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan.
  • The government granted land patents in rectangular blocks of eighty acres (320,000 m²), with the most desirable lands along the coastline and inland waterways.
  • In 1729, a county seat was established at the village of Richmond Town, located at the headwaters of the Fresh Kills near the center of the island.
  • Three weeks later, on September 11, 1776, the British received a delegation of Americans consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Edward Rutledge, and John Adams at the Conference House on the southwestern tip of the island on the former estate of Christopher Billop.
  • The Palisades Sill, designated a “National Natural Landmark” being “the best example of a thick diabase sill in the United States.”
  • Each borough president had a powerful administrative role derived from having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city’s budget and proposals for land use.
  • Staten Island’s Borough President is James Molinaro, a member of the Conservative Party elected in 2001 and reelected in 2005 with the endorsement of the Republican Party.
  • The main political divide in the borough is demarcated by the Staten Island Expressway; areas north of the Expressway tend to be more liberal while the south tends to be more conservative.
  • In the 2009 election for city offices, Staten Island elected its first black official, Debi Rose, who defeated the incumbent Democrat in the North Shore city council seat in a primary, and then went on to win the general election.
  • The Little Sri Lanka in the Tompkinsville neighborhood of Staten Island is one of the largest Sri Lankan communities outside of the country of Sri Lanka itself.
  • The tourism program also includes a “Staten Island Attractions” video that is aired in both the Staten Island and the Manhattan Whitehall ferry terminals, as well as informational kiosks at the terminals, which supply printed information on Staten Island attractions, entertainment and restaurants.
  • Historic Richmond Town is New York City’s living history village and museum complex.