Monday, March 24, 2014

A Rectangle of Sanity in the City

The land for New York City's Central Park cost $5 million when it was appropriated by the state legislature in 1853 and cleared of about 1,600 impoverished residents.

The park itself was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead in 1857, and it's construction continued uninterrupted during the Civil War.

By the time the park was completed, more than a million carts of rock had been removed, and more than 18,000 cubic yards of good soil from New Jersey had been imported into which more than four million trees, shrubs and plants, representing 1,500 species, were transplanted.

Today, New York City's Central Park is the most visited urban park in the world.  Despite the fact that the park is only 840 acres (640 acres is a square mile), it houses a pretty impressive breadth of species from raccoon and fox to turtles, hawks, eagles, owls, possums, falcons, fish, turtles, bats, rabbits, groundhogs, and squirrels, as well as many kinds of resident and transient song birds, ducks, and geese. Coyotes even turn up every once in a while!


1 comment:

Michael said...

Central Pk is still the best thing around for our dogs, and after decades of fighting, we have the right to let them wander off leash at certain times. Unfortunately,a long struggle between advocates of practical and formal uses of parks has ended badly. Corporate-backed gardening schemes have led to banning dogs from ponds and spring-fed streams, even in the dog days of August, on the grounds they're destroying "the enviroment." They've even turned the Bethesda Fountain, a favorite swimming hole for Labs and others, back into a floating garden as it was in the 1890s. Not much fun anymore.