If you have time, you have to go to the Museum of the City of New York, and see the exhibit about how The island of Manhattan would have looked in the year 1609. From assembled maps, mainly from the British army I think. The project I think also has a book. This is the root of everything I wish this blog to be:
Go there and find an interactive map displaying the marshes, hills, forests, lakes, streams, and the natural sculpting of the island before the landfill. You can find any address there and see what was once there, before the west came and "civilized" it.
Dr. Sanderson on in interview on wnyc's Leonard Lopate Show, says he believes it the island of Manahatta were preserved today, it would be one of the nation's greatest national parks. I could go on and on, but to do that I'd have to read on and on, there is so much information in the site! I imagine I will continue to read or reference this document: