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Prospect Park

The Daily Plant : Thursday, August 31, 2000


Photograph by Malcolm (Cinema) Pinckney

At Parks, we love plants and we love animals, and topiary is the perfect way to bring together our love of both. An eight-foot tall giraffe-shaped topiary recently moved into Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, designed to bring these innovative combinations of animal and vegetable to all five boroughs.

On Friday, August 25, Commissioner Henry J. (StarQuest) Stern unveiled the Bronx's leafy new friend. On the redesigned Parks website, the public was asked to vote for which animal it would most like to see made into a topiary for the Van Cortlandt Park. The green giraffe won the contest, bringing in more votes than the other options-a bunny, an elephant, and a lion.

This giraffe was created by the talented staff of Topiary Artworks in Kansas. The nursery worked with parks to install the four-legged creature at its present location at the southwest corner of the park, by the coyote statue at Kingsbridge green. The herbivore was lowered into the ground and secured with stakes, then covered with mulch and fabric about the feet. A white picket fence will protect the gentle giant as he stands tall over Van Cortlandt Park.

In January the Commissioner announced that 2000 is "The Year of the Topiary" for Parks. Topiaries have traditionally been exclusive to European palaces and historic mansions, but topiary will now also flourish in New York's public parks. In addition to this giraffe, a horse has been installed on the Park Avenue Malls in Manhattan, an ape and a lion in Flushing Meadows Park in Queens, and a lion and an elephant in Willow Brook Park near the Carousel for All Children in Staten Island. Soon an elephant will be installed in Litchfield Villa in Brooklyn, completing Parks' initiative.

(Thursday, September 3, 1987)


Last Monday at approximately 3:30 PM, a woman in her twenties, sobbing hysterically, emerged from the bushes at East 92nd Street near East Drive. A jogger who was running by stopped immediately and asked the woman what happened. A nanny from Denmark, the young woman managed to say that she had just been raped. The jogger ran to find help, flagging down a Parks vehicle carrying Climber and Pruner Dan Derby and Assistant Gardener Thomas Wandell of Manhattan Forestry. In the meantime, the suspect emerged from behind some bushes and dashed towards East 92nd Street. The foresters and the jogger chased and apprehended the suspect, a well-dressed man in his late 30s.


Genius all over the world stands hand in hand, and one shock of recognition runs the whole circle round.

Herman Melville (1819-1891)

Directions to Prospect Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

ParkProspect Park

The Prospect Park Well House is under reconstruction in order to build a new composting latrine. The park remains open while the building gets reconstructed.
Anticipated Completion: Winter 2015

ParkProspect Park

Starting July 6, 2015, Prospect Park's West Drive will be permanently car-free after 9 a.m. on weekdays and 24 hours a day on weekends and holidays. For more information, please visit

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