Willow Lake Playground
72 Ave. bet. 112 St. and Grand Central Parkway
Directions via Google Maps
Willow Lake Playground draws its name from nearby Willow Lake in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. Willow Lake, like adjacent Meadow Lake, was created by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981) for the 1939-40 World’s Fair. Willow Lake’s surface area originally measured 47 acres, but after the 1964 World’s Fair the lake began to revert to the wetland from which it had been created. In 1976 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation designated it a protected freshwater wetland.
A willow is any plant belonging to the genus Salix, with buds, catkins, and spear-shaped leaves. The Willow Lake Natural Area features the white willow (Salix alba), the goat willow (Salix caprea), the weeping willow (Salix babylonica), and the pussy willow (Salix discolor). Thanks to this varied vegetation, the Willow Lake area is a popular spot for bird lovers.