The Daily Plant : Monday, May 12, 2003
GROUNDBREAKING FOR PIET OUDOLF’S TRIBUTE GARDENS
On Thursday, May 8th The Battery Conservancy and Parks & Recreation, along with acclaimed Dutch horticulturist and landscape designer Piet Oudolf, held a special planting ceremony to kick off the Gardens of Remembrance at Battery Park. The event was attended by community members, City officials, as well as officials from The Netherlands. Everyone present was encouraged to participate in the first plantings to be a part of the new life being brought to the park.
"A horticultural revolution in New York’s parks is beginning where the city’s history also began," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "It’s an honor to have a world-class talent, Piet Oudolf, to create and plant the gardens, and we’re working to create an endowment to ensure that it will thrive for many years to come."
"Nothing makes me happier than seeing Commissioner Benepe picking up a trowel and planting the first plants of the Piet Oudolf gardens at The Battery," said President of The Battery Conservancy Warrie Price. "These gardens would not be happening without the support and assistance of the working hands of the Parks & Recreation Department. We are thrilled to be an important part of the horticultural era in The Battery."
The perennials and flowers that comprise the new gardens – 6,000 plants from 113 species – are being placed in a 10,000-square foot green necklace of planting beds running contiguous with the waterfront and overlooking New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
The Gardens of Remembrance, commemorating the events of September 11th, 2001, were conceived to honor the enduring life force of New York City and pay tribute to the courage and resilience of its citizens.
Oudolf, whose practice is based in the small town of Hummelo, The Netherlands, designed the Gardens of Remembrance as part of a commission from The Battery Conservancy to create a horticultural master plan for the revitalization of The Battery. The Gardens will be Oudolf’s first completed public commission in the United States. He will also design the gardens for Chicago’s Millennium Park.
The Gardens of Remembrance and the horticultural master plan for The Battery are made possible by a $400,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and a $1 million grant from the Verizon Foundation to establish an endowment fund for the Gardens of Remembrance. The Battery Conservancy has launched a campaign to raise an additional $3 million required to fully endow the Gardens of Remembrance and assure their care.
The Battery is a major urban transportation hub and home to more than two dozen important monuments, green spaces, paths for pedestrians and bicyclists, and unrivaled visual access to New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The public park is also home to Castle Clinton, the storied United States National Monument that over the past 200 years has served a series of functions reflecting the social and economic evolution of New York and the United States.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
"Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decypher (sic) even fragments of their meaning."
Lydia M. Child
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