NYC Parks News for Central Park copyright © 2016 NYC Department of Parks and Recreation NYC Department of Parks & Recreation en-us Tue, 31 May 2016 14:35:54 GMT NYC Parks News 25 25 <![CDATA[NYC Parks Joins The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service In Celebrating The Centennial Of The Migratory Bird Treaty]]> dailyplant23619 Last week, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, joined Chief of Populations for Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Scott Johnston, Commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, National Park Service Joshua Laird, and Director of Science and Conservation at NYC Audubon Susan Elbin to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty at Central Park.

The treaty was an important milestone in bird conservation and connects the USFWS with their federal, state, local, private, non-government, tribal, and international partners who share a long, successful history of conserving, protecting, and managing migratory bird populations and their habitats. Celebrating the centennial of the first treaty allows the Service to bring together those who have contributed to its success, and to galvanize efforts to protect migratory birds for generations to come.

We are very proud and prideful of the opportunity to continue contributing to the conservation of the various bird species that call New York City home, said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. Over the years, NYC has had the foresight to preserve tens of thousands of acres of parkland. And from a birds point of view, our city is abundant in the green and blue spaces that they love so much.

Located along the Atlantic Flyway, NYC is an important bird area with a great deal of effort dedicated to wildlife habitat restoration and conservation across the Citys public lands.

"Urban green spaces are good for the birds, and also for people living in and visiting cities across the country, said Wendi Weber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director. "New York is a great example of a city whose natural resource conservation has resulted in a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, while also providing benefits to people. Green space means clean air and water, and a place for people to participate in outdoor recreation in their communities, and that's something we fully support through our urban conservation program."

In 2003, New York City became a signatory member of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds, solidifying the Citys commitment to improving biodiversity and environmental conservation.

<![CDATA[NYC Parks Joins The U.s. Fish & Wildlife Service In Celebrating The Centennial Of The Migratory Bird Treaty]]> pressrelease21371 NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, today joined Chief of Populations for Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Scott Johnston, Commissioner of the National Parks of New York Harbor, National Park Service Joshua Laird, and Director of Science and Conservation at NYC Audubon Susan Elbin to celebrate the one hundred year anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty.

The treaty was an important milestone in bird conservation and connects the USFWS with their federal, state, local, private, non-government, tribal, and international partners who share a long, successful history of conserving, protecting, and managing migratory bird populations and their habitats. Celebrating the centennial of the first treaty allows the Service to bring together those who have contributed to its success, and to galvanize efforts to protect migratory birds for generations to come.

We are very proud and prideful of the opportunity to continue contributing to the conservation of the various bird species that call New York City home, said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. Over the years, NYC has had the foresight to preserve tens of thousands of acres of parkland. And from a birds point of view, our city is abundant in the green and blue spaces that they love so much.

Located along the Atlantic Flyway, NYC is an important bird area with a great deal of effort dedicated to wildlife habitat restoration and conservation across the Citys public lands.

"Urban green spaces are good for the birds, and also for people living in and visiting cities across the country, said Wendi Weber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director. "New York is a great example of a city whose natural resource conservation has resulted in a sanctuary for birds and other wildlife, while also providing benefits to people. Green space means clean air and water, and a place for people to participate in outdoor recreation in their communities, and that's something we fully support through our urban conservation program."

In 2003, New York City became a signatory member of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds, solidifying the Citys commitment to improving biodiversity and environmental conservation.

<![CDATA[Your Chance To Visit The Hallett Nature Sanctuary]]> dailyplant23596 During limited hours, visitors can explore the normally-closed Hallett Nature Sanctuary at their own pace along the rustic trail. See how the Central Park Conservancy has restored this native woodland garden for birds and other wildlife.

The wood-chipped trail is uneven; please wear appropriate shoes. This ecosystem is a protected area and home to many flora and fauna. No groups, dogs, bikes, or strollers. Free and self-guided, no registration needed. Space is limited.

Date: Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Time: 2:00 p.m.5:00 p.m.

Location: East Side from 60th-62nd Streets just south of Wollman Rink

This event repeats every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 4/1/2016 and 8/31/2016.

<![CDATA[NYC Parks Hosts Central Park Tour: Southern Welcome Tour]]> dailyplant23575 Tomorrow at 11 a.m., join Central Park Conservancy guides for an introduction to some of the southern park highlights, including Grand Army Plaza, the pond, Gapstow Bridge, Wollman Rink, Chess & Checkers House, and the Dairy.

The tour route involves moderate inclines and some stairs. Tour starts inside the park at 61st Street and Fifth Avenue. For weather cancellation, ticket and other policies, please review Central Park's Conservancy's policies carefully. Groups of seven or more must schedule a custom tour three weeks in advance at

For more information, please review the Frequently Asked Questions.

<![CDATA[Hawk Released In Central Park]]> dailyplant23543 On the afternoon of Friday, January 15, 2016, the non-profit organization Wild Bird Fund released a rehabilitated red-tailed hawk in Central Park. The Buteo jamaicensis came to Wild Bird Fund from the Manhattan Animal Care Center where it was discovered to have been suffering from dehydration. Wild Bird Fund rehabilitators treated the hawk and successfully got the bird of prey back on its wings.

The red-tailed hawk is probably the most common hawk in North America. At the top of the food chain, the birds can hunt animals twice their weight and can reach diving speeds of up to 120 miles per hour. Their visual acuity is easily five times better than ours, and they can even see ultraviolet light. With these abilities, theres not much that the red-tailed hawk needs to fear except buildings.

<![CDATA[Central Park Hosts Urban Starfest]]> dailyplant23485 On Saturday, October 17, 2015, the Urban Park Rangers and the Amateur Astronomers Association led Urban Starfest in Central Park. The annual event invites New Yorkers to enjoy the wonders of the universe, boasting New York City parks as the perfect place to stargaze and learn more about the night sky.

<![CDATA[Yoko Ono Attempts To Create World’s Largest Human Peace Sign At Central Park]]> dailyplant23479 On October 9, 2015, the late Beatle John Lennon would have been 75. His widow Yoko Ono celebrated his life by trying to organize the world's largest human peace sign at New York's Central Park. More than 2,000 students, politicians and activists including New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, joined Yoko Ono but a representative from Guinness World Records said that it wasnt enough to beat the current human peace sign record of 5,814 people, which was set in Ithaca, NY in 2009.

<![CDATA[Pope Francis Visits Central Park]]> dailyplant23467 Today marks day one of the Popes two-day visit to New York City where he will make stops at St. Patricks Cathedral, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at ground zero, Our Lady Queen of Angels School in East Harlem, Central Park, and Madison Square Garden.

The papal visit to America is the popes first trip to the United States, and already, thousands of spectators have swarmed together to watch him proceed down the streets of Washington, D. C. where he landed first on American soil. His next stop is right here in NYC where he will be greeted by some 200 people upon landing at JFK airport later this afternoon. First on his agenda is a short procession along Fifth Avenue and on Friday he makes his appearance at Central Park for a cruise along the West Drive where 80,000 observers are expected.

His last appearance in the city will be at Madison Square Garden where he will perform an evening Mass for 20,000 people. And on Saturday, Pope Francis leaves for Philadelphia.


During the Popes historic visit to Central Park, much of the Park will be locked down and inaccessible to facilitate the necessary security parameters. The "frozen zone" shall be delineated by the following boundaries:

South: 59th Street (Columbus Circle to 6th Avenue)
West: Central Park West (inclusive of CPW)
North: 79th/81st Street
East: 5th Avenue to 65th Street (Center Drive from 65th to 59th Street & 6th Ave)

Please note Central Park West and all the side streets between Columbus and Central Park West from 59th to 81st Street will be closed to vehicular and pedestrian traffic as well. Arsenal West should not be affected by the west side street closures between 59th and 81st Streets. The block will certainly be packed, so staff should have ID's with them at all times in case a decision is made to close the block due to overcrowding. NYPD and Secret Service will be making necessary accommodations on any closed blocks for people who live/work on those blocks.

Generally, this means if you normally come across the Park from the west side to access the Arsenal, this will not be feasible Friday, September 25 and you should make alternate plans to come to work via east side subway and bus lines.

As for vehicular traffic, the Closed East Drive will be accessible to vehicles from 5th Avenue and 60th Street ONLY. Vehicles WILL NOT be allowed to enter the Park at 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue or 72nd Street and Central Park West. Furthermore, the entrance located at 6th Avenue and 59th Street will also be closed to vehicular access but will be passable by pedestrian traffic.

Finally, all subway stations will remain in service and there should be no closures or skipped stations in effect. The only station entrance closure is the Columbus Circle Station located on the Park side of 60th Street and Central Park West.

Hope this is helpful, and please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thanks for your patience and cooperation, everyone.

<![CDATA[Nyc Parks Welcomes Le Pain Quotidien At Conservatory Water In Central Park]]> pressrelease21337 NYC Parks today announced the opening of Le Pain Quotidien at Conservatory Water in Central Park. Located on the east side of the Park at East 74th Street, Le Pain Quotidien at Conservatory Water offers a delicious selection of foods and beverages to the park-going public.

Central Park is the host to 40 million annual visitors and NYC Parks is proud to partner with Le Pain Quotidien in providing them with high quality refreshments, said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. Since 2010, Le Pain Quotidien has done a remarkable job operating the historic Mineral Springs concession site, and they will surely establish themselves as a favorite at Conservatory Water. Whether enjoying model sailboats, birding, storytelling, or a stroll in the park, visitors to Conservatory Water can quench their hunger and thirst with Le Pain Quotidien's expertly prepared offerings.

Summer in New York City is an incredible time to take to the outdoors and were excited to open this al fresco location at Conservatory Water, said Jack Moran, Le Pain Quotidiens US CEO. We look forward to partnering with NYC Parks again and continuing to build our relationship with the dynamic Central Park community. From the park-going locals, to families at the boat pond to visiting tourists, our menu has something for everyone. We have enjoyed coming up with a creative offering to match this iconic location, with features you wouldnt typically find at a Le Pain Quotidien, like an outdoor cocktail bar and a locally sourced hot dog!

Starting today, Monday, July 6, Le Pain Quotidien at Conservatory Water will open daily at 7:00 a.m. and remains open until sunset. The large kiosk offers a wide variety of food and beverages including sandwiches, soups, salads, parfaits, baked goods, cappuccinos, espressos, beer, wine and cocktails. They also operate the Snack Shack, a smaller kiosk, open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., offering organic ice cream, savory snacks, cookies, brownies, coffees, teas and juices.

Le Pain Quotidien, which in French literally means the daily bread, is a Belgian company with more than 200 bakery-restaurant locations in 17 countries across five continents. The company is known for its handmade organic bread, signature tartines, soup, salads, and pastries and puts an emphasis on using organic ingredients whenever possible. Conservatory Water is Le Pain Quotidien's second location in Central Park. In 2010, they invested more than $1 million to capitally improve the Mineral Springs site, restoring the facility and bringing it closer to Park designer Calvert Vauxs vision for the structure. In April 2015, they opened a new kiosk in Bryant Park.

The Conservatory Water area of Central Park is a popular venue because of the famous climbing sculptures, the story-telling programs, the model boats, and its role in the children's classic Stuart Little. An ornamental pond was constructed as a reflecting pool for a glass conservatory, but when the plan for a structure was abandoned, the water body became the popular model boat pond, inspired by those in Parisian parks.

<![CDATA[NYC Parks Celebrates A Decade Since Unveiling The Gates In Central Park, Looks Forward To Art In Parks In 2015]]> pressrelease21279 Today, Thursday, February 12, NYC Parks celebrates the 10th anniversary of the unveiling of the unforgettable, beloved exhibit The Gates in Central Park. Open to the public a decade ago today, The Gates attracted approximately four million visits to the Park in only 16 days. Created by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude, the temporary installation consisted of 7,500 gates bearing hanging saffron-colored fabric panels, lining 23 miles of pedestrian paths in Central Park.

Throughout December, eight trucks a day entered the park carrying the 15,000 steel bases that would be used to support the gates. Assembled in Queens over the course of two months, building the gates was no easy feat. Central Park Conservancy and NYC Parks worked closely with the artists to ensure that the exhibit was carefully installed in areas with low concentrations of wildlife. 25 years in the making, The Gates were a defining moment in Central Parks history and left a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to have visited.

In 2004, Christo and Jeanne-Claude were quoted as saying, All our work is about freedom. Nobody can buy our projects, nobody can sell tickets to experience our projects. Freedom is the enemy of possession and possession is equal to permanence. That is why our projects cannot remain and must go away forever. Our projects are once-in-a-lifetime and once upon a time. The artists also donated $3 million to the City for programs and operations both in Central Park and in other City parks.

The Gates was one of those moments in history you never forget says Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of Central Park Conservancy. It was an amazing feat of artistic vision, political will and engineering expertiseand it worked! Especially in the wake of 9/11, The Gates was an experience that brought millions of people together and gave them joy when they needed it most.

Parks remains committed in its dedication to display public art in the Citys parks. The magnificence of The Gates is a reminder of how art can reframe and renew our perceptions of even the most familiar and famous public spaces, and how important it is to offer New Yorkers and visitors an opportunity to access works of art. 2015 will be no exception, with incredible exhibits year round.

At Tappen Park on Staten Island, you can find DB Lampmans The Dance, inspired by Henri Matisses painting of the same name. The Dance consists of five ethereal figures floating 15 feet above the ground. Formed with steel and wrapped in nylon, the figures hold hands and dance within a rectangular steel structure, and at night, they light up and cast a glow around the neighboring trees. The Dance will be on display through September 2015.

And visit Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to check out Tree of Life, a a sculpture created by an international team of seven artists who worked closely Van Cortlandt Parks naturalists to identify specific invertebrates that are native to the area. The artists used this information to create artistic interpretations of the specimens, which are attached to a 12 foot tree-like structure, and can be viewed until June 2015.

Coming up this year, Parks will offer everything from sculptures to crystal balls. Paula Hayes Gazing Globes in Madison Square Park will open in February and feature 18 hand blown glass orbs that hold the detritus of contemporary culture, including used batteries, computer parts, and other remnants of technology sprinkled with fairy dust made of pulverized CDs. Gazing Globes will open this month and be displayed through April 2015.

Also opening in March this year will be Desire Lines, a sculpture by French artist Tatiana Trouvto be installed at the southeast entrance to Central Park. The piece is composed of three massive custom-fabricated industrial shelving units containing 212 wooden spools wound with varying lengths and colors of rope. The relative lengths of the ropes correspond exactly to the 212 select pathways that wind through Central Park. Desire Lines will be on display through August 2015.

For a complete list of current and upcoming exhibits in NYC Parks, go to

<![CDATA[This Weekend In Parks]]> dailyplant23229 Saturday, October 4

Highbridge Hawk Watch

West 172nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue (in Highbridge Park), Manhattan

9:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m.

Bring the whole family and roam the winter woods in search of hawks with expert naturalist Mike Feller.

Dachshund Octoberfest

Washington Square Park, Manhattan

11:00 a.m. 2:00 p.m.

The Dachshund Friendship Club organizes this non-competitive social gathering of dachshunds and their owners as a celebration of the beloved dog breed.

Pumpkin Picking at Historic Richmond Town

Decker Farm 435 Richmond Hill Road, Staten Island

11:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)

Visit the historic 1800s Decker Farm and bring home a pumpkin! Enjoy a self guided tour, hayride, face painting, farm animals, arts and crafts, and corn stalk maze.

Free shuttle bus.

Central Park Tour: Hallett Nature Sanctuary and the Pond

6th Avenue and Central Park South (in Central Park), Manhattan

12:00 p.m. 1:15 p.m.

Take a break to enjoy this walk through the Parks smallest woodland area, open to visitors only on guided tours and limited open hours April through October. Tickets: $15 per person. Central Park Conservancy members: $10 per person.

Bike Ride! Celebrate Park Communities

Green Map System 220A E. 4th Street, Manhattan

2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

The Catalyst Program at Partnership for Parks will highlight the East River Park community with a bike ride and a photography exhibition featuring portraits.

Sunday, October 5

Art in the Garden: The Evolution of an Artist

Queens Botanical Garden 43-50 Main Street, Queens

8:00 a.m. 6:00 p.m.

From Landscapes to portraits to modern abstraction, Elaine Hajians work consistently expresses the artists vision through myriad styles and mediums.

Wheelchair Football League

Bulova Park, Queens

8:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

Are you ready for some wheelchair football? Come out and play pickup wheelchair football every Sunday.

Birding: Fall Migration

Van Cortlandt Nature Center (in Van Cortlandt Park), Bronx

10:00 a.m.

Our Rangers will guide you to the best wildlife viewing spots in New York City.

Raptor Fest

Peninsula (in Prospect Park), Brooklyn

12:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m.

Experience the thrill of viewing New Yorks premier predators, live and up close with the Urban Park Rangers and the Prospect Park Audubon Center.


"There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning and yearning."

Christopher Morley


<![CDATA[Tomorrow's World: The New York World's Fairs And Flushing Meadows Park On View At The Arsenal Gallery]]> pressrelease21231 Tomorrow's World: The New York World's Fairs and Flushing Meadows Corona Park opens to the public on June 26 at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park, and will be on view weekdays through August 27. Organized by Jonathan Kuhn, Parks Director of Art & Antiquities, and Jennifer Lantzas, Parks' Public Art Coordinator, the show is mounted on the occasion of the 75th and 50th anniversaries of the New York World's Fairs of 1939-40 and 1964-65.

The display includes never before exhibited vintage images from the Parks Photo Archive, as well as selections from private collections, that illustrate the dynamic evolution and conversion of a vast industrial wasteland (and former wetland) into New York City's fourth largest park. The two Worlds Fairs enabled this transformation, while serving as seminal and defining social and cultural events for two generations. The show also includes memorabilia, preparatory drawings as well as two recovered Paul Manship sculptural animals, part of the Armillary Sphere bequeathed by the second fair to the park as a permanent feature, but dismantled and stolen in 1980.

The photos illustrate the gargantuan task of assembling these temporary empires highlighting international and cutting-edge industry, commerce, art and design. The striking images capture the big picture in all its grandeur, as well as private moments that reclaim the experience of visitors. They illustrate advances in art and architecture, as well as the carnival and corporate atmosphere that at times undercut the more high-minded objectives of fair organizers. Surviving iconic structures, such as the Unisphere, New York State Pavilion, and the New York City Building (today's Queens Museum) are featured.

Among the mementoes are improvement brochures, official guides, and the plan for a permanent home of the United Nations at Flushing Meadow. Selections from letters by well known personalities have also been included. One such testimonial by the late science fiction author Isaac Asimov encapsulates the awe and reverence recalled by fairgoers: "The New York World's Fair in 1939 was (for me) Coney Island, and Disneytown, and Heaven all rolled into one..."

If the fairs were exemplary forums of forward thinking, and celebrations of the "global village," the park setting bequeathed to the City is also a subtext of the exhibit. Today Flushing Meadows Corona Park finds itself serving a populace more diverse than any in the nation.

Two evening lectures are planned in conjunction with the exhibition:
The Washington Bicentennial and the Brooklyn Worlds Fair That Almost Was
with Thomas Campanella, Associate Professor of City Planning at Cornell University on Thursday, July 10, 2014, 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

A Column of Jerash: Controversy, Politics and Archaeological Diplomacy At The 1964-65 Worlds Fair with Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis, Visiting Assistant Professor and Deputy Executive Officer, the MA in Liberal Studies Program, the Graduate Center, CUNY on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m.

The Arsenal Gallery is located at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street in Central Park on the third floor of the historic Arsenal (today's Parks headquarters). Visitor hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except holidays, and admission is free. This exhibit has been sponsored in part by Con Edison and Duggal.

<![CDATA[More Than 30,000 New Yorkers Celebrate The Outdoors At Tenth Anniversary Of Adventures NYC]]> pressrelease21230 For the first time, the event expands to a second day in Brooklyns Marine Park

On Saturday, June 21, NYC Parks and Backpacker Magazine hosted the tenth annual Adventures NYC, the citys largest outdoor adventure festival, at the bandshell in Central Park. And on Sunday, June 22, New Yorkers returned for a second day of adventure in Brooklyns Marine Park.

For the past ten years, Adventures NYC has given thousands of New Yorkers the chance to embrace the outdoors and learn new ways they can enjoy our parks. said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. This year was particularly exciting for us with the expansion of Adventures to Jamaica Bay for a second day jam-packed with free, fun activities. Thanks to our partners at Backpacker Magazine and all of our sponsors, we were again able to offer paddle boarding, kayaking, rock climbing and more, while also debuting the sport of slacklining.

More than 30,000 outdoor enthusiasts of all ages gathered to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities and exciting demonstrations including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing lessons, and outdoor gear exhibits.

Highlights of this years event included the World Slacklining Championships by Gibbon Slacklines, rock climbing walls with Adidas professional climbers, kayaking with Wheel Fun Rentals, stand-up paddleboarding and fly casting instruction from L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools guides, and learn to snowboard clinics with instructors from Ski Vermont and Burton Snowboards. Visitors also participated in Shape Up NYC fitness classes, trying out activities that are freely available year-round at NYC Parks Recreation Centers.

Adventures NYC 2014 was presented by NYC Parks and Backpacker Magazine in partnership with Adidas, Bike & Roll, The Blue Buffalo Company, Burton Riglet Park, Cabot Creamery,, Fugoo, Gibbon Slacklines, Gerolsteiner, GoPro, Honest Tea, Kahtool, Klean Kanteen, KTU 103.5, L Magazine, Lifeproof, L.L. Bean, Maui Jim, MindBody Connect, Nature Valley, New York Liberty, New York Knicks, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, NYC Department of Transportation, Plae, Ruby Bay Salmon Jerky, Ski Vermont, Slow Mag, Tamron, Tent & Trails, Transportation Alternatives, Wheel Fun Rentals, Whole Foods, and Wild Planet.

For more information about adventures you can have all summer long, including free programs with NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers, visit

<![CDATA[Spring Birdwatching In New York City]]> pressrelease21208 In springtime, New York City parks offer some of the best birdwatching in the world, as hundreds of bird species migrate north along the Eastern migratory flyway. In the New York metropolitan area, green spaces are clearly defined, and New York City's parks act as green oases where birds can spend the night and restore their energy.

Many of these birds have traveled thousands of miles from their winter homes in Central and South America, and will travel hundreds or thousands more to locations in New England and Canada. For others, New York City will become their summer home. One such species is the piping plover, a small, sand-colored shorebird that the US Fish & Wildlife Service has listed as an endangered species. Piping plovers nest on Rockaway Beach in Queens for the summer.

The NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers offer guided birdwatching tours throughout the year to help you locate and identify the incredible diversity of aviary species in New York City. Though every migration season is different, depending on weather patterns, our Rangers predict that peak spring birding will continue through the end of June. Come learn what's flying through your neighborhood this season!

Birding with the Urban Park Rangers:

High Rock Park in Staten Island
Sunday, May 25 at 9:00 a.m.
Watch for hawks with the Urban Park Rangers! Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, but Rangers will have extras.

Astoria Park in Queens
Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m.
Watch for hawks with the Urban Park Rangers! Participants are encouraged to bring their own binoculars, but Rangers will have extras.

Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx
Saturday, June 7 at 10:00 a.m.
Meet at the Van Cortlandt Park Nature Center near West 246th Street for an excursion through the rolling hills and forests of Van Cortlandt Park.

Birding with our partner groups:

The Urban Park Rangers are part of a vibrant birding community in New York City. Many of our partner organizations, including the Central Park Conservancy, Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy, Prospect Park Alliance, NYC Audubon, and Freshkills Park Alliance offer their own birdwatching programs. Check out a few birdwatching opportunities here:

Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy
Every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. from April through November
Van Cortlandt Park Conservancy and NYC Audubon offer free, guided bird walks throughout Van Cortlandt Park, designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Meet at the Nature Center east of Broadway and 246th Street. For more information, visit

Prospect Park Alliance
o Every Saturday through June 28 at 12:00 p.m.
Join the Prospect Park Alliance and the Brooklyn Bird Club to learn about the 250 species of birds that call Prospect Park home

o Saturdays and Sundays in May at 4:00 p.m.
Meet at the Binnen Bridge in Prospect Park for a family bird-watching tour. The Pop-Up Audubon will be happening all summer in different locations. For more information, visit

Central Park Conservancy
o Every Sunday in May at 10:00 a.m.
Take your family on a Birding for Families tour guided by the NYC Audubon Society to observe all the feathered activity, migratory and year-round residents, in the park. Meet at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center.

o 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. throughout the year
Borrow a Central Park Conservancy Discovery Kit, free of charge, at the Belvedere Castle. Each kit contains binoculars, a guidebook, maps, and sketching materials. For more information, visit or call 212.772.0288.

Freshkills Park Conservancy
Sunday, May 25 at 10:30 a.m.
Staten Island Museum naturalists will guide a journey into the meadows and wetlands of Freshkills Park to spot songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors.

<![CDATA[7th Annual Films On The Green Festival To Launch]]> pressrelease21210 Free French Screenings in NYC Parks this Summer

Films on the Green is a free outdoor French film festival produced annually in New York City parks by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, FACE and NYC Parks. Since its inception in 2008, the festival has expanded the reach of French film and brought classic and contemporary movies to local communities.

This year, screenings will take place every Friday from May 30 to August 1, and the finale screening will be on September 4 at Columbia University, in partnership with the Columbia Maison Franise. Started in the community gardens of lower Manhattan and Harlem, this much-loved summer festival now shows ten films at six major locations: Central Park, Riverside Park, Tompkins Square Park, Washington Square Park, Columbia University, and Transmitter Park in Brooklyn. As an added bonus, DJs play tunes before each screening.

Met with great success, Films on the Green has expanded to reach hundreds of new viewers in the US. Films on the Green @ MIT shows screenings on universitys campus and began in Boston in 2013, and Films on the Beach in Miami debuted this April and is screening two vintage classics of French cinema and two animated films.

This year's theme is Masculin Masculin. A play on the 1966 Godard film title Masculin Feminin, Masculin Masculin presents a gamut of colorful male figures in French filmlovers, heroes, gangsters, and rebels. From love to war, and from neuroses to humor, this years festival offers the most memorable of the masculin in classic love stories, thrilling film noir, and deadpan French comedies.

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, FACE and NYC Parks thank Films on the Green's official sponsors: Air France, BNP Paribas, and TV5 Monde.

A full schedule is below:

May 30 - 8:30 p.m. Purple Noon Central Park Cedar Hill (79 St & 5 Ave)
June 6 - 8:30 p.m. Les Tontons Flingueurs Washington Square Park
June 13 - 8:30 p.m. Buffet Froid Washington Square Park
June 20 - 8:30 p.m. The Woman on the 6th Floor Tompkins Square Park
June 27 - 8:30 p.m. La Haine Tompkins Square Park
July 11 - 8:30 p.m. The Moustache Riverside Park Pier I (at 70 St)
July 18 - 8:30 p.m. Grand Illusion Riverside Park Pier I (at 70 St)
July 25 - 8:30 p.m. Le Magnifique Transmitter Park - Greenpoint, Brooklyn
August 1 - 8:30 p.m. 2 Autumns, 3 Winters Transmitter Park - Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Sept. 4 - 7:30 p.m. The French Minister Columbia University 116 St

For additional information, please visit

<![CDATA[Closely Knit: A Textile Analysis Of Animals By Ruth Marshall On View In The Arsenal Gallery]]> pressrelease21221 On View May 1 June 20, 2014

NYC Parks is pleased to present Closely Knit: A Textile Analysis of Animals, an exhibition of work by artist Ruth Marshall. Her textile pieces, which are inspired by animal pelts from the American Museum of Natural History and live animals in zoos, bring attention to illegal wildlife trade and species loss in a way that unites a widened audience of scientists, art enthusiasts and the general public. Closely Knit is on view in the Arsenal Gallery now through June 20, 2014.

Ruth Marshalls artwork reproduces and interprets full-size animal pelts as knitted textiles. She has conducted research from pelt collections at the American Museum of Natural History and the Melbourne Museum, as well as from captive live animals at the Berlin Zoo. Each of her one-of-a-kind textiles represents an individual animal she spends months researching and recreating. For Closely Knit, Marshall studied Askai, Central Park Zoos male snow leopard, and created a new knitted work measuring 91" by 60" based on his grey, white and black coat that would help him blend into his snowy and rocky surroundings. Her work allows visitors to expierence the immense scale of the large endangered cats, as well as appreciate their intricate, beautiful characteristics up close without jeopardizing the animals.

Ruth Marshalls textile pelts of tigers, leopards, coral snakes and Australian marsupials exemplify how artisan goods have the potential to have higher commercial value than poached skins on the black market. The result would be a paradigm shift in the incentive behind wildlife trade, which is one of the largest illegal activities in the world. Her textiles reinforce the ideology that support for conservation and culture is a more sustainable, viable and lucrative endeavor than illegal wildlife trafficking.

Unsettling is one reaction that suits the world my work intends to reflect. We should all feel uneasy about the state of wild animals. Artists create for different reasonsI see a need to be constantly reminded of humanity and the role I play in it. I want to share stories that are personal, meaningful and important to our past, present and future. From living animals to drawers in museums, I research individual lives to explore life, said Marshall.

The exhibition is staged in the historic Arsenal building, which housed both the menagerie that predated the zoo and the American Museum of Natural History. Beginning in 1859, a burgeoning menagerie was located in and around the Arsenal. Gifts or loans of animals by the likes of impresario P. T. Barnum, financier August Belmont and Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman could be seen in outdoor cages and in the basement of the building. The great insecurity and danger of this arrangement, as well as the stench, resulted in the removal of the interior cages by 1871. The Arsenal was also the first home of the American Museum of Natural History, which displayed its collections in the building from 1869 to 1877 before it moved to its current home on Manhattans West Side.

Ruth Marshall received a BFA in sculpture and printmaking at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Marshall was awarded the Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship to attend Pratt Institute in Brooklyn where she graduated with her MFA in 1995. Working at the Bronx Zoo from 1995-2009, home of the Wildlife Conservation Society, influenced Marshall deeply. Since then she has became internationally known for her hand knit pelts of exotic animals endangered by the illegal skin trade. A native of Australia, Marshall currently resides in New York City and teaches as an adjunct professor part time at the School of Visual Arts.

A series of related programs will be offered at the Arsenal Gallery in conjunction with Closely Knit: A Textile Analysis of Animals. Admission is free but seating is limited. To RSVP, please email

May 15, 2014, 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Lecture with Neil Duncan, Collections Manager, Mammalogy and Vertebrate Zoology, American Museum of Natural History
May 21, 2014, 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Artist Talk with Ruth Marshall
June 16, 2014, 6:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. Lecture with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Dr. John Polisar, Coordinator of the Wildlife Conservation Societys Jaguar Conservation Program

The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday Friday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, please call 212-360-8163.

<![CDATA[STRATA On View In The Arsenal Gallery]]> pressrelease21228 NYC Parks is pleased to present STRATA, an exhibition of prints, ceramics and collages by Marie Lorenz, Katy Fischer and Max Warsh. The artists in STRATA collect and arrange found or invented artifacts from the urban environment, including river flotsam, ceramic shards, and architectural details, through various modes of discovery. They use their collections as source material for multilayered, abstract compositions that reframe our familiar surroundings and challenge the division between man-made and organic in favor of a more seamless view of the material world. STRATA is on view in the Arsenal Gallery now through April 24, 2014.

Marie Lorenz creates large scale, collograph prints from objects she collects on her excursions through New York Citys waterways. In this new series of prints, Lorenz engages with the mysterious paths the objects have traveled by repeatedly printing the elements in ornate circular patterns, which evoke both tidal vortexes and folk art medallions.
Katy Fischers ceramic sculpture is reminiscent of archeological discoveries. She is inspired by the way ancient artifacts become evocatively abstract shapes once they are broken, weathered and displaced, not unlike the bits of debris deposited around the city. The shard-like fragments read as both found and made, broken and whole, abstract and representational and suggest intriguing connections and possible histories.

On his walks around the city, Max Warsh photographs architectural facades, which are used as source material for his work. For these new pieces, Warsh photographed buildings in the neighborhood that surrounds the Arsenal. He then reconfigures these found textures, grooved surfaces and cast ornamental details in his studio through cutting, painting and collage to arrive at compositions that reinvigorate our engagement with the visual language of the urban landscape.
In the work of all three artists, the fragment points to a larger more complete whole and a sense that a sum of the parts does or could exist. However each artist works to evade the reveal: we never see the whole building, the actual found object, or the unbroken pot. Rather, these fragmented compositions convey the way memory is an amalgamated fiction rather than a knowable fact.

In conjunction with STRATA , Audra Wolowiec will present the sound installation Weather Language on April 14, 2014 from 6:00 8:00 p.m. at the Arsenal. The sound piece will be composed of a mixture of found sounds and vocal interventions that are sensitive to both the Arsenal site and the city at large. Wolowiecs voice will overlap with the voices of strangers she encountered while walking through the city, creating a sound environment that is as subtle and ambiguous as the weather.
The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the third floor of the Parks Department Headquarters, in Central Park, on Fifth Avenue at 64th Street. Gallery hours are Monday Friday, 9 a.m. 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on the Arsenal Gallery, please call 212-360-8163.

<![CDATA[Parks’ Summer Interns Tour Central Park]]> dailyplant22944
After the Arsenal, the interns worked their way around the southern area, stopping to learn just how the park co-existed with the city around the time of its creation. There are rock formations seen in the park which paved the way for buildings all over Manhattan. Additionally, before the Central Park Zoo, wealthy families in the neighborhood would leave their exotic animals from tropical vacations in the park- making the phrase concrete jungle a little too literal. The next stop was Balto, the statue in honor of the famous Siberian Husky who saved Nome, Alaska by delivering antibiotics. Balto is now equally famous as one of the most climbed monuments in the park-- even the interns couldn't resist!

Walking down Literary Row, the group made their way towards the Bethesda Terrace, stopping to check out the famous writers that were to their left and right. This tour was not all about history, because the interns also got to see an area of the park where the final scene of "The Avengers" was filmed. Past Bethesda Fountain, the tour went on a walk which showcased the ecological life of the park: from birds, bees, and mammals that serve their part in keeping the park blooming and fresh.

Keeping cool in the shade, Gary led the group to Strawberry Fields, a shrine in honor of John Lennon. All Beatles fans appreciated this stop, and from there the group went by Sheep Meadow, a designated quiet area at the park with large, beautiful greens.

The tour ended with a focus on the Parks Department itself. Learning that the Parks logo is a London planetree leaf and signing the hidden book on the Arsenal Roof area were only two of many memories the interns will take away from this tour.

This event is one of many amazing opportunities that are given to the interns here at the Parks Department. Thanks to Leslie Nusblatt and Elyse Mason, Internship Coordinators, interns are lucky enough to have weekly seminars from important Parks employees in addition to fun, active events like the tour. Don't worry, they also get plenty of work!

Written by Press Office Intern Dan Murphy


The things you own end up owning you.

Chuck Palahniuk
(1962 - )

<![CDATA[Ninth Annual Adventures NYC Attracts Thousands Of New Yorkers To Kick Off The Summer By Celebrating All Things Outdoors]]> pressrelease21170 On Saturday, June 22, NYC Parks and Backpacker Magazine hosted the ninth annual Adventures NYC, the citys largest outdoor adventure festival, at the bandshell in Central Park.
Thousands of New Yorkers kicked off their summer today with some outdoor fun at Adventures NYC, said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. This event offers the opportunity to try something new, like getting your feet wet at paddle boarding or trying your hand at fly fishing. We are extremely grateful to our partners at Backpacker Magazine, whose support has allowed this free event to continue to the delight of outdoor enthusiasts of all ages.
An estimated 25,000 outdoor enthusiasts of all ages gathered to enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities and exciting demonstrations including kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing lessons, and outdoor gear exhibits.
Highlights of this years event included Winter in the Summertime by The North Face, featuring Freeskiing athletes and snowsport activities; the STIHL Lumberjack Show, featuring log rolling, speed climbing, and chain saw simulators; and expert guides from L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery Schools, offering free stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and fly casting instruction. A special appearance was made by the L.L.Bean Bootmobile, a larger-than-life version of the outdoor retailers iconic Bean Boot.
Visitors also participated in free Shape Up NYC fitness classes, and were entertained by performances from soul singer Jay Stolar, and live music from Stolen Rhodes.
Adventures NYC 2013 was presented by NYC Parks and Backpacker Magazine in partnership with The North Face, and sponsored by L.L.Bean, STIHL, Bear Naked, Ski Vermont, Cabot, NYC DOT, Bike and Roll, LivingSocial, Raw Revolution, Belleayre, Honest Tea, Manduka, Ecco, Tent & Trails, Primaloft, NYC DEP, Key Log Rolling, Citi Bike, Sazzi, Strider, The L Magazine,, and KTU 103.5
This summer, were encouraging all New Yorkers to Go Park and discover something new in the citys 29,000 acres of parks and open spaces. Take advantage of our nature centers, sports fields, and recreation facilities theres so much more to explore in our parks! To learn more about NYC Parks special events and activities, visit or call 311. Share photos of how you Go Park this summer on twitter with #GoPark.

<![CDATA[Remembering Diane Wolkstein, Parks Storyteller Who Entertained Generations]]> dailyplant22847
Wolkstein was born in Newark, New Jersey, and raised in Maplewood. She graduated from Smith College and earned a Masters in education from Bank Street College. She later worked in Paris as a teacher, while studying mime.

In June 1967 she began her career at Parks (hired at a salary of $40 a week) by telling stories to children at the Hans Christian Andersen statue just west of Central Parks Conservatory Water (the model boat pond). Continuing to perform at the sculpture for decades--her last performance there was on September 15, 2012--she also directed countless other practitioners of the storytelling arts. The program she founded would become the longest running free storytelling program in the United States.

Wolksteins success was linked to her unique approach to storytelling that appealed to all ages and embraced diverse cultures. Among her best known stories were tales of the Haitian countryside, where she spent seven years of her life, and those of Australian Aborigines. In 2007 she launched a storytelling marathon in Central Park called CelebrateStory, which brought together 20 storytellers from varied backgrounds to perform.

Also in the same year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared June 22 Diane Wolkstein Day to commemorate her then 40 years of storytelling for New York City. In addition to her work with Parks, Wolkstein authored 23 books on folklore, and hosted Stories with Diane Wolkstein that aired on WNYC radio for seventeen years.

Wolkstein was part of a broader revival of the storytelling tradition that had its origins in the 1960s. She traveled widely and performed on five continents. This past year our office caught up with Wolkstein regarding her career and its impact. Speaking of the Central Park storytelling, she commented, It is the model on which storytelling programs have blossomed throughout the United States. I am always receiving letters and calls asking help from people in different cities and places who want to set up similar programs in their own towns or cities. Hundreds of storytellers have been trained in their profession by telling at the Park.

She continued, And what is most dear to me is that hundreds of children return to bring their children! And now their grandchildren!! Imagine such a tradition in the heart of New York City.

And so to Diane Wolkstein, kids from 3 to 93 thank you.

Submitted by Jonathan Kuhn, Director of Art & Antiquities
(with assistance from intern Anne McGrath)


Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.

Hans Christian Andersen
(1805 1875)

<![CDATA[Winter Jam NYC Draws 25,000 People To Winter Sports Festival]]> pressrelease21103


On Saturday, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation Commissioner Veronica White joined Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA) President & CEO Ted Blazer, Olympic skier Ashley Caldwell, and professional snowboarder Ty Walker to welcome more than 25,000 visitors to Winter Jam NYC, Parks annual celebration of winter sports.

Seven snow machines were brought in from Gore Mountain to blanket 40,000 square feet of Central Park with snow. The event brought winter fun back to the heart of NYC with the Lake Placid snowfield for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. All activities were free and winter sports equipment was provided free of charge.

Red Bull hosted the Red Bull MetroRail, an open snowboard and ski rail jam. Visitors took a break from the cold and enjoyed some apre-ski snacks in the Pride of New York Winter Market and the Unreal Candy Unjunked Ice Lounge.

This year, the first-time Doggie Snow Zone featured a snow park with agility equipment for pooches and an Ask the Expert booth featuring canine behaviorists, celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky, an expert nutritionist, and doggie treat bar.

Winter Jam NYC 2013 was presented by the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation, I Love NY, and Lake Placid, and sponsored by Red Bull, REI, Mountain Creek, Unreal Brands, Cabot Cheese, Unleashed by Petco, Radio Disney, L Magazine, and DNAinfo.

<![CDATA[Ready, Set, Sketch!]]> dailyplant22720

The excited illustration students, with eyes as bright as their tee-shirts, were surrounded by big blue canvases, each with a different sea creature painted on it.

Bags bursting with free art supplies and a hardcover sketchbook were handed out to the 25 students in order to begin the first task of the summer 2012 session, which was to draw one of the fish living in the blue canvases on the wall.

The students sketched all morning, and once it was time for lunch, Jeannie, a 3-year veteran of the Summer Illustration Art Academy staff, gracefully and flawlessly conjured all of the children together to eat.

Following lunch, the students boarded a yellow school bus for the next activity at Central Park and once there, a line of budding artists, each readily equipped with sketchbook and artist pencil, followed Stephan Gardner, the art instructor for the day, through the winding walkways until he stopped at the Alice in Wonderland sculpture.

The students then sketched his or her favorite component of the sculpture. In the bright sun, hands busily worked at images of Mad Hatters, Cheshire Cats, Alices and oversized mushrooms.

While young artists attempted to depict the sculpture with his or her best drawing capabilities, Gardner, a renowned illustrator from the Society of Illustrators, looked over each students drawing to give direction. Gardner drifted from student to student, and despite the warm July weather, enthusiastically gave advice, sketched tutorials and explained techniques.

For the entire month of July, the Summer Illustration Art Academy enabled 100 children, aged 9 through 13, to travel to various locations throughout New York City such as the Bronx Zoo, the Coney Island Aquarium, museum exhibitions and a double-decker bus through Times Square.

At these locations, the students will study a curriculum in accordance with the NYS Learning Standards for the Visual Arts, which consists of techniques including contour line, landscape, narrative, value and motion drawing.

Allen, an Art Academy student said, Its fun, I like going to different places, and when asked what his favorite place to visit was, he responded quickly with Times Square.

The Summer Illustration Art Academy is the product of an 11-year partnership between NYC Parks and the Society of Illustrators. T he academy is also the result of the hard work of Mary Polemarhakis, the Director of Program Development in Central Recreation, who has been an advocate for outreach of the visual arts to at-risk youth since 2001.

Written by: Sky Stage, Central Recreation Communications Intern

<![CDATA[Parkcentric: Photographs From The Museum]]> pressrelease21087

Exhibition on view June 14 August 30, 2012 at the Arsenal Gallery in Central Park

Featuring 68 photographs illustrating 24 parks, Parkcentric: Photographs from the Museum of the City of New York, 1890-1940, celebrates two great civic institutionsthe New York City parks system and the Museum of the City of New York. The Museum, originally housed at Gracie Mansion, and since 1932 at Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street, celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character. Its photographic collection alone has more than 300,000 images, which provide an extraordinary portal on the past, helping to define New Yorkers self-image.

The Arsenal Gallery is pleased to host Parkcentric: Photographs from the Museum of the City of New York, 1890 1940, said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. The visual beauty of this photographic collection will allow viewers an insight at the growth and modernization of the parks system. We are proud to showcase these works of art that help connect the past and present New York City. I am grateful to the Museum of the City of New York for lending us this collection, which will allow New Yorkers the unique opportunity to view our parks as they appeared in prior generations, and to Jonathan Kuhn, whose discerning eye and encyclopedic knowledge of the NYC park system and its history make this show so rich and multilayered.

The pictures in this show focus on a critical period in the parks systemfrom the social reform movement to the WPA-era on the cusp of World War II. They have been selected both for their visual power and for their revealing depictions of the beauty, variety, and vitality of the Citys parks. This was a time of startling growth and modernization. The population soared from 2.5 to 7.5 million people, and the City became the metropolis that remains surprisingly recognizable.

The photographers represented here bore witness to this ascendant city, and the complex interplay of its rapidly expanding population and parks (today comprising nearly 15% of New York City). The burgeoning skyline of modern skyscrapers framed older parks, including City Hall, Madison Square, and Central Park, helping define these critical oases in increasingly dense neighborhoods. Social service groups and the City responded to the immense needs created by the waves of new immigrants. The Parks Department created new parks, built its first playgrounds, and launched its recreation division to promote health and citizenship.

From the outset, the Museum of the City of New York supported talented photographers in their zeal to document the Citys evolution, mounting early solo shows by Berenice Abbott, Samuel Gottscho, and John Albok among others. The self-taught Gottscho produced images of striking formal precision, whether his subject was architecture or nature. Abbott, influenced by Eugene Atget and Man Ray in Paris, caught the tension between old and new with honesty and clarity.

Later, the Museum acquired the collection of the Byron Company, New York Citys preeminent commercial photo studio, as well as that of Danish-born Jacob Riis, the pioneering photojournalist and social documentarian. Some of the photographers in the Museums collectionsuch as Robert Bracklow and Charles Von Urbanseemed on a personal quest to preserve, through the cameras lens, a world that was rapidly vanishing, while others such as Jessie Tarbox Beals and Robert Perry turned their camera upon their neighborhoods, capturing the social disparities in their midst.

Unlike the often staged compositions of official pictures, these have an informality that captures the textures of New York lifeecstatic children at play, a solitary woodland retreat, the tortured social etiquette of Victorian-era bathers, an automobile overtaking horse and buggy, the contrasting fortunes of the indigent and the gentry. As the photographers shown here demonstrate with empathy, insight and artistry, though times may change, the parks remain central to the life of the city.

The exhibition is curated by Jonathan Kuhn, Parks Director of Art & Antiquities.

The Arsenal Gallery is dedicated to examining themes of nature, urban space, wildlife, New York City parks and park history. It is located on the 3rd Floor of the Arsenal at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue in Central Park. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (closed July 4). Admission is free.

Founded in 1923 as a private, nonprofit corporation, The Museum of the City of New York celebrates and interprets the city, educating the public about its distinctive character, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation. The Museum connects the past, present, and future of New York City, and serves the people of the city as well as visitors from around the world through exhibitions, school and public programs, publications, and collections.

<![CDATA[Central Park Opens Restored Cherry Hill Concourse]]> dailyplant22706 The reconstruction of Cherry Hill Concourse was celebrated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on June 26. The simplified site design is expected to re-assert the Concourses historic role as the ideal vantage point for visitors to take in views of the nearby Lake. The ribbon cutting ceremony and official re-opening of Cherry Hill Concourse was attended by Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, and Conservancy staff.

The Concourse is the primary destination of visitors seeking to admire and photograph the nearby Lake. The Conservancys restoration of the site simplified its design, integrating it into nearby landscapes and making the views it affords the ultimate attraction.

In their reconstruction, the Conservancy introduced sustainable materials, plantings and new infrastructure. A new, permeable Concourse surface will allow the landscape to retain rainwater and reduce run-off; new plantings will help to define the perimeter path, which affords unique views of the Lake to visitors traveling on foot.

The sites existing curbing was salvaged, cut and repurposed for the new design as well. The simplification of the sites design, which was achieved by leveling the site by removing the Concourses three tiers, will enhance the experience of all Concourse visitors, including those traveling by foot, bicycle or horse carriage. Visitor traffic is expected to flow better than before, with views of the Lake more accessible to and enjoyable for all.

The reconstruction of the Cherry Hill Concourse represents the last major part of the
Conservancys five-year restoration of the Lake. Besides Central Park maintenance, the Conservancy is also responsible for the restoration and reconstruction of the Parks numerous landscapes and formal sites. To ensure that sites remain true to the vision of the Parks original designers and accommodate the growing numbers and types of visitors, the Conservancy has an in-house Planning, Design and Construction team responsible for all design and reconstruction projects.

The Central Park Conservancys reconstruction plan was approved by New York Citys Public Design Commission in August 2011, with local community boards voting in support of the Conservancys restoration plan earlier that year.

<![CDATA[Parks' Summer Interns Tour Central Park]]> dailyplant22696 On June 18, 2012, Director of Arsenal Operations Gary Rozman led 33 Parks Interns on a tour of the southern end of Central Park. Over the course of the morning, Gary demonstrated his broad range of knowledge about the park as he touched on its geology, ecology, ornithology and history. Starting at The Arsenal, Gary highlighted features like the muskets in the railing and the art gallery, which allude to the buildings prior uses as an armory, and as a museum.

From the Arsenal, the interns went on to learn about the parks geology. Stopping at one of Central Parks giant rock formations, Gary described how these boulders are the products of receding glaciers from millions of years ago, noting that these rocks are the only native elements to Central Park. Next Gary introduced the interns to Balto, a statue commemorating the Siberian Husky who saved the town of Nome, Alaska by delivering antibiotics in near whiteout condition. As one of the most popular stops of the tour, the interns climbed atop the statue for a photo (pictured above).

After saying farewell to Balto, the interns took to the more ecological part of the morning as Gary stopped to point out the calls of the birds. Gary explained how Central Park offers some of the best bird watching in the country, due to its location in the crossroads of bird migratory routes. Gary also elaborated on the arboreal value of Central Park. Specifically, the parks Elm population is one of the last remaining collections in the countrythis once common tree was decimated in the second half of the 20th century by Dutch Elm Disease.

From there, the interns went on to the Imagine Monument. Stopping at Strawberry fields, the interns paid tribute at this shrine to John Lennon, and had a chance to take in the parks serenity. Finally, Gary wrapped up the tour with a stop at Tavern on the Green for a picnic. Overall, this tour was a wonderful opportunity for our interns and we thank Gary for his contribution.

This tour represents just one example of the fantastic programming for our interns this summer. Parks dedicated Internship Coordinators Leslie Nusblatt and Elyse Mason have put together a wonderful series of events for our interns. With events like weekly lectures at Arsenal, a meet and greet with Commissioner Benepe, and a day of community service, our interns are sure to be kept busy. We thank them greatly for their contribution.

Written by Press Office Intern Harlan Pittell


If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

<![CDATA[Adventures NYC -- Parks "Annual Celebration Of The Great Outdoors" Draws Thousands]]> pressrelease21084
Adventures NYC offers exciting activities such as rock climbing, paddle boarding, and yoga, and is enjoyed by thousands of visitors in Central Park every year, said Commissioner Benepe. Everyone gets to have fun in the sun while taking advantage of NYCs green spaces to get out, get active and get healthy. Parks is proud to again partner with Backpacker Magazine, The North Face, and REI to bring this great event to the Big Apple for free!

At the event New Yorkers participated in handcycling, climbed rock walls, and learned how to snowboard on synthetic snow in Burtons Riglet Park, brought to Central Park by Ski Vermont. Other activities included a health and fitness clinic and a mountain biking expo. Attendees also enjoyed live music from the Kings Country Ramblers, the Nick West Quartet, and Brooklyns own Lucius. The Parks membership van was on hand to sign people up for Parks recreation centers.

Adventures NYC was presented by the North Face in partnership with REI and Backpacker Magazine and sponsored by Vermont Vacation, Progressive O&P, Mission, Ski Vermont,Transportation Alternatives, UBC, Zipcar, Yoga Journal, Cabot Cheese, New York Department of Transportation, Princeton Tec, Larabar, Primaloft, Keen, Paragon, National parks Foundation, Gaiam, Tent & Trails, Laughing Lotus Yoga Center, NYC Water, NYC Tricycle, Brave, Central Park Medical Unit, Brooklyn Outfitters, Honest Beverages and Bike and Roll and the NYC DOT. Media sponsors include Z100 radio station and the New York Post.

For more information on things you can do all summer long, visit our website at

<![CDATA[Parks Welcomes Maoz Vegetarian To Central Park]]> pressrelease21076

The Harlem Meer is an unforgettable destination of New York Citys Central Park, the park that is a centerpiece of New York life, said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. The addition of Maoz Vegetarian to the menu of options offered to visitors of Central Park continues to provide those of all tastes a choice meal when experiencing the park. Moving beyond classic New York City cart foods, visitors of different tastes can now extend their time at Central Park with a vegetarian choice with some of Maoz Vegetarians delicious options such as the falafel sandwich.

Maoz Vegetarian at the Harlem Meer will operate seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., subject to seasonal changes and weather related circumstances. Their menu includes falafel sandwiches, salad boxes containing falafel balls, pita with salad, Belgian fries, sweet potato fries, and assorted muffins, along with beverage options such as fresh squeezed juice, fresh mint lemonade, fresh tea, assorted sodas, bottled water, and coffee. Four tables for dining are located in front of the brick concession site which are perfect for casual dining. Maoz Vegetarian is contracted for an eight year term, closing no earlier than mid-November for each operating term.

The Parks Department has been working since 2008 to attract a diverse spectrum of high quality food vendors, in order to satisfy New York Citys hunger for an eclectic plate.

<![CDATA[From Pawnee, Indiana To Central Park]]> dailyplant22637 On April 2, Aziz Ansari, comedian and star of NBCs Parks and Recreation, joined the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy as the first Ambassador of Spring to ceremonially mow Sheep Meadow -- one of Central Parks most popular lawns -- before it re-opens to the public for the spring.

The first mow of Central Park symbolizes the start of spring in New York City and prepares Central Parks lawns for an estimated 38 million annual visitors. Every winter, the Parks lawns are closed for seasonal maintenance and protection. On Saturday, April 7, the lawns will officially re-open to the public for a season of picnicking, relaxing, recreation, and more.

Aziz plays Tom Haverford on NBC's "Parks & Recreation." He appears alongside a talented cast that includes Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt, Aubrey Plaza, Adam Scott and Rob Lowe.

Joining Aziz at the "first mow" were Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Central Park Conservancy President Doug Blonsky. In welcoming Aziz to Central Park, Commissioner Benepe said, From one Parks Department employee to another, I am thrilled to welcome Tom Haverford all the way from Pawnee, Indiana. If he ever wants to leave Pawnee, Im sure we can find a place for him here in New York City.

Before Aziz got on the lawnmower, he said to the assembled crowd, When I initially agreed to do this, I thought it would be later in the day and that I would be getting a key to the city. Instead it's really early and I'm getting a key to the city's lawnmower, which I guess is kind of nice. I'll put that along with the other city keys I have the key to the city's juicer, the key to the city's vacuum cleaner, and of course the key to the city's Showtime rotisserie grill.

This 15-acre Sheep Meadow began as something very different. The 1858 design competition for Central Park required a parade ground for military drills. Winning landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux reluctantly included the parade ground. However, they convinced the Parks Commissioners that military use conflicted with their vision of the Park as a quiet escape.

Although these days youll mostly find sunbathers lounging on the lawn, the meadow was actually home to a flock of sheep from 1864 until 1934. The sheep and shepherd were housed in a fanciful Victorian building nearby what became the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant. In the 1960s and 70s, thousands of people came to Sheep Meadow for large-scale concerts. Even the first landing on the moon was televised to a crowd at the Meadow on July 20, 1969. But these events, and the lack of management and maintenance, led to the lawn becoming severely eroded a virtual dustbowl.

In 1980, it was restored and has been maintained by The Central Park Conservancy since then. The meadow became the Parks first Quiet Zone which means its the perfect place to relax and unwind. Sheep Meadow attracts thousands of visitors, who gather to sunbathe, picnic, and enjoy this pastoral escape free from the hustle and bustle of New York City.

The mission of the Central Park Conservancy is to restore, manage and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public for the enjoyment of present and future generations. A private, not-for-profit organization founded in 1980, the Conservancy provides 85 percent of Central Park's $42 million park-wide expense budget and is responsible for all basic care of the Park. For more information on the Conservancy, please visit


SSerts is what I call desserts. Tray trays are entrees. I call sandwiches sammies, sandoozles, or Adam Sandlers. Air conditioners are cool blasterz, with a z I dunno where that came from. I call cakes, big ol' cookies. All noodles, long ass rice. Fried chicken is fri fri chicky chick. Chicken parm is chicky chicky parm parm. Chicken cacciatore, chicky catch. I call eggs, pre birds, or future birds. Root beer is super water. Tortillas are bean blankies. And I call forks, food rakes.

Aziz Ansari as Tom Haverford
Parks & Recreation

<![CDATA[Parks Issues Request For Proposals For Snack Bar At Central Park's Hecksher Ballfields]]> pressrelease21042
Central Parks Heckscher Ballfields provide New Yorkers with a great space to place softball right in the heart of Manhattan, said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of the Central Park Conservancy, the ballfields look better than ever. Its snack bar further improves the parks ambiance while providing a convenient service to the public. We are seeking proposals that will continue to offer visitors high quality and affordable delights.

All proposals submitted in response to this RFP must be submitted no later than Monday, January 30, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Parks will hold a site tour on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at the concession site, which is located North of the Heckscher Ballfields, South of West 65th Street and Transverse Road No. l, and West of the carousel. All interested parties are urged to attend.

Hard copies of the RFP can be obtained, at no cost, through Monday, January 30, 2012, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., excluding weekends and holidays, at the Revenue Division of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which is located at 830 Fifth Avenue, Room 407, New York, NY 10065.

The RFP is also available for download through Monday, January 30, 2012, on Parks website. To download the RFP, visit, click on the link for Concessions Opportunities at Parks and, after logging in, click on the download link that appears adjacent to the RFPs description.

For more information or to request to receive a copy of the RFP by mail, prospective proposers may contact Davita Mabourakh, Project Manager, at (212) 360-1397 or
at .

<![CDATA[Parks Welcomes Pullcart To Central Park]]> pressrelease20999 2016-05-31T10:35:54-04:00