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Recently Completed:

Lake Boat Landings

As part of our restoration of the Lake and the Ramble, we reconstructed five historic boat landings on the shoreline of the Lake. Learn more about this project.

Rumsey Playfield Landscape

Rumsey Playfield is best known today as the venue for the SummerStage concert series, a program of the City Parks Foundation. This project addressed the park landscape immediately surrounding the playfield.

Our restoration work included:

  • Reconstruction of existing paths and infrastructure, including restoration of existing stairs and the additions of handrails.
  • Restoration of the plaza at the eastern entrance to Rumsey Playfield, featuring the popular Mother Goose sculpture, including the replacement of existing pavement and benches.
  • Restoration of lawn areas, new landscape plantings, and new irrigation infrastructure.

In Progress:

W. 84th Street / Mariners' Playground

Target completion: Fall 2016

Closure Alert: Mariners' Playground is closed for reconstruction as part of the Conservancy's current focus on the Parks system of 21 playgrounds, outlined in our Plan for Play.

Built in 1936 as part of the system of playgrounds constructed under Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in the marginal landscapes at the edges of the Park, the original playground featured equipment and activities typical of the era – including swings, slides, sand tables, a water spray feature, and play houses. The reconstructed playground will provide updated and enhanced versions of these original play experiences while maintaining the open feel of the playground, improving its connection to the surrounding landscape, and making it more universally accessible for children and caregivers.

The scope of work includes:

  • Replacing outdated play structures within the playground and incorporating more active play features such as climbers, tunnels, and slides.
  • Expanding the water feature with more spray jets and interactive water play.
  • Increasing the number of toddler swings.
  • Installing new spinners and spring toys.
  • Providing for imaginative and social play by incorporating such features as chalkboard panels on the fence that delineates the swing area, and sound tubes in the Moses-era-inspired playhouses.
  • Removing the existing seven-foot steel picket fence, improving the landscape plantings around the playground, and containing the play environment with an inconspicuous mesh fence screened by the plantings.
  • Rebuilding the path between the park perimeter and the playground as a wheelchair-accessible route.

Southwest Corner and Merchants' Gate Landscape

The Conservancy is in the midst of a multi-year, comprehensive restoration of Central Park's Southwest Corner. We are currently in design for the next phase of work.

The scope of work includes reconstruction of paths, replacement of benches, installation of new benches, and the installation of new electrical and lighting infrastructure. Improvements to the surrounding landscape will include lawn restoration, plantings, and installation of new irrigation infrastructure. Learn more about this project.

The Woodlands Campaign

In 2013, the Conservancy embarked on a plan to renew and sustain Central Park's 80 acres of woodland landscapes in the North Woods, the Ramble, and Hallett Nature Sanctuary. The primary goals of the restoration are to restore the scenic character and habitat value of these landscapes, and to support increased use and enjoyment by the public and continued stewardship by Conservancy staff and volunteers. Current projects include:

North Woods: The Ravine
Target completion: November 2016

The Park's two major woodland landscapes, the North Woods and the Ramble, featured water as a central design element. In the North Woods, it was the Loch that flowed in a northeasterly direction through the Ravine, fed by the 100th Street Pool and emptying into the Harlem Meer in the northeast corner of the Park. Our restoration includes the removal of accumulated sediments, deposited through many decades of unchecked erosion, that dramatically altered the original footprint of the Loch—reducing what was once a series of small pools and cascades into a narrow, shallow stream course. The intent is to recreate a character-defining element of the historic design by reestablishing open pools of water, varying the depth of the water and reconstructing the shoreline with boulders and riparian plantings to improve and diversify habitat quality.

The current phase of work builds upon the recent reconstruction of the Upper Ravine paths and infrastructure on the west side of the Loch. The work includes a complete reconstruction of paths in the Loch and Lower Ravine. It will also include additional planting and irrigation improvements, the restoration and reconstruction of rustic bridges and stone steps, and the creation of a rustic seating area overlooking the Loch.

Closure Alert: The entire Lower Ravine path on the east side of the Loch will close as part of the second phase of work through November 2016.

The Ramble
Target completion: 2018

Our ongoing restoration of the Ramble, like the Ravine, involves reconstruction of aging paths and drainage infrastructure, restoration of diverse native plant communities, expansion of irrigation infrastructure, and restoration of the water course (the Gill, in this case). Because it was historically more channelized by rock and topography than the Loch, the Gill’s footprint has remained relatively consistent over time; accumulated sediments will therefore be removed to deepen the water course—not to widen it. As with the Loch, the depth of the water and treatment of the shoreline will be varied to improve habitat complexity.

The Ramble work also includes the restoration and reconstruction of rustic features, including the recreation of three rustic, open-air shelters that once existed at high points in the landscape, providing shaded seating where visitors might rest and take in views of the surrounding scenery.

Hallett Nature Sanctuary
Target completion: Fall 2016

Restoration of this 4-acre promontory on the 59th Street Pond is focused on continuing to remove invasive species, improve soil health, and diversify native plant communities, as well as expanding the existing system of soft surface trails and creating rustic seating and amenities in conjunction with increased public access. Since it was designated a bird sanctuary by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in the 1930s, Hallett has been closed to the public except for special tours and programs, until now. In conjunction with ongoing landscape and trail improvements, the Conservancy has recently instituted regular open hours during which Hallett is available to the public to visit. For more information, visit our calendar of events.

Fifth Avenue Perimeter

Target completion: Fall 2016

Following the reconstruction of the Park's entrance at East 64th Street, including the construction of a wheelchair-accessible ramp at the entrance, the Conservancy will rebuild the park perimeter between East 60th and East 65th Streets. The work includes replacement of existing pavements and curbs, reconstruction of pedestrian ramps, and installation of new benches.

Closure Alert: The work will proceed in five phases, progressing south one block at a time and starting at East 65th Street. A pedestrian walkway will be constructed in the bus lane as a detour.

Dene Slope

Target completion: Fall 2016

As part of an ongoing project to establish a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers at the southwest Dene Slope, the Conservancy recently completed the installation of irrigation throughout the landscape. The meadow will be seeded and rustic seating installed this spring.

King Jagiello Monument

Target completion: October 2016

The conservation of King Jagiello focuses on repairs to the internal mounting system and maintenance of its protective coatings. To facilitate the work, the monument will be temporarily removed from its base and placed in the landscape directly adjacent to the monument.

Closure Alert: The area around the King Jagiello Monument, which is located to the southeast of the Great Lawn (mid-Park between 79th and 80th Streets).