NYC considers plan to turn island of graves into city park

New York City officials are considering a plan to turn an island where poor and homeless people have been buried for 150 years into a park.

The City Council held a hearing Thursday on a proposal to turn Hart Island over to the Parks Department to be run as a park that would be reached by ferry.

The New York Times reports that Parks Department director of government relations Matt Drury said the department will support the transfer if the city curtails burials there.

The island off the Bronx is now managed by the city's Department of Correction. Roughly 1,100 unclaimed bodies are buried there each year in graves dug by jail inmates.

About a million people have been buried on Hart Island since 1869.