"Alley Pond Park, the second-largest park in Queens, is an unusual specimen. First of all, there’s its shape: 655 noncontiguous acres approximating an alley—with a couple of nooks off to one side—that extends about 2 miles south from Little Neck Bay. Highways and local roads slice through it, and parts of it are in Bayside, others in Douglaston. Despite all this, Alley Pond Park is an ecological wonderland, with salt marshes, glacial ponds, and forests within its borders. And it’s an outstanding specimen of Queens’ geologic history. Hills and boulders in the park are a product of the terminal moraine, the accumulation of rock and sand left behind by receding glaciers 20,000 or so years ago. Chunks of glacial ice made depressions in the land that today are ponds. Alley Pond Park is also a specimen of conservation. Much has been done over the last few decades to rehabilitate land suffering due to neglect or development and to protect natural habitats that were being destroyed. Alley Pond Environmental Center (APEC), where this walk begins, has been a linchpin of the conservation efforts since the 1970s."