NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Central Park


Wednesday, July 25, 2018
No. 76

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined by Errol Pierre, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Empire BlueCross BlueShield, announced the continuation of their partnership to bring free fitness classes to New Yorkers through Shape Up NYC. Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundation has committed an additional $300,000 to help fund more than 100 weekly fitness classes over the next year. To date, Empire has contributed $1.3 million to keep this important exercise program free for the health and benefit of all New Yorkers.

“Regular exercise shouldn’t be a luxury available only to those who can afford it. Every year, Shape Up NYC classes see more than 10,000 visits from New Yorkers who are looking to get fit with our fun, free, and engaging classes,” said Commissioner Silver. “We are so grateful for Empire BlueCross BlueShield’s continued commitment to support this important program.”

“The Empire BlueCross BlueShield Foundations strives to foster healthy lifestyles in the people and communities we serve. Shape Up NYC offers hundreds of free workout classes throughout the city each week, removing barriers that may prevent people from getting recommended levels of regular activity. With regular exercise a critical component of good health we are proud to support this effort with NYC Parks and helping to make physical activity accessible to all,” said Pierre.

The announcement was made at a fitness marathon in Central Park, part of the Shape Up in the Park series created this summer to highlight the variety of free classes offered through the program. Around 150 people participated. Demo classes offered at the Naumberg Bandshell included Zumba, Soca Fitness, Intensati and Yoga and Meditation. Free yoga mats were distributed to participants.

Shape Up NYC is a free, drop-in fitness program with locations across the five boroughs. There is no class registration, simply show up to take fitness classes like aerobics, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and much more. Our fitness instructors know how to make fitness fun!

Since 2010, Shape Up NYC has had more than one million visits at more than 80,000 fitness classes. Classes are hosted at locations all over the city, including parks, recreation centers, housing and health facilities, schools, libraries, and community centers.

Directions to Central Park

Know Before You Go

There are currently 3 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

ParkCentral Park

Raccoons in Central Park have tested positive for canine distemper virus. Although the virus cannot be transmitted to humans, it may be transmitted to dogs. Keep your pets safe in the park.

Please avoid wildlife and make sure your pets have up-to-date distemper and rabies vaccines. Keep your pet on a leash, especially during dawn and dusk.

Please call 311 or notify an on-site Parks employee if you see a sick or injured animal.

If you are bitten, wash the wound with soap and water immediately. Call your doctor to see if you need tetanus or rabies shots, and call 311 to report the bite.

The Health Department will continue to monitor this condition.

Anticipated Completion: Summer 2018

Nature CentersBelvedere Castle Visitor Center

Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The castle will reopen to the public in 2019. To reach our Urban Park Rangers at Central Park, please call (212) 360-1444.

ParkCentral Park

Beginning Monday, February 26, Belvedere Castle will be closed for restoration. The surrounding plaza and terrace remain open, but will also close in the coming weeks. The Belvedere will reopen to the public in 2019. For more information on the restoration of Belvedere Castle, please visit Central Park Conservancy's website.

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