• Central Park Conservancy Logo
  • Official Caretakers of Central Park

Restoration


Upcoming:

Bernard Family Playground

The Conservancy wants to hear from you! We are gearing up for the next playground renovation in our Plan for Play initiative: Bernard Family Playground located at East 108th Street. This project will renew and enhance the design of the current playground in order to better integrate with the surrounding landscape and provide more quality play experiences for pre-school age children.

If you are interested in taking a survey to provide feedback on play at the Bernard Family Playground, please e-mail pdc@centralparknyc.org. In your e-mail, please specify the age of your child(ren) and how often you use this playground.


In Progress:

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:

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.


Dene Slope

Target completion: Spring 2017

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.


Recently Completed:

North Woods: The Ravine

The restoration of the Ravine is now complete. As part of the Conservancy's comprehensive effort to renew and sustain Central Park's woodland landscapes, the work at the Ravine included removal of accumulated sediments, a complete restoration of paths, additional planting and irrigation improvements, the restoration and reconstruction of rustic bridges and stone steps.


Hallett Nature Sanctuary

Hallett Nature Sanctuary is considered to be one of the Park's three woodlands (along with the Ramble and North Woods). Originally called "the Promontory" by the Park's designers, the large rock outcropping was integrated into the picturesque design for the Pond landscape. It was in 1934 that Hallett was fenced off under New York City Parks Commissioner, Robert Moses, and designated a bird sanctuary. In the decades following its enclosure, Hallett suffered from management neglect resulting in erosion and overgrowth of invasive species. The landscape remained virtually untouched until 2001 when the Conservancy took up its restoration and maintenance.

The Conservancy's approach to the Hallett's restoration is grounded in a program of woodlands management, implemented over the last 25 years, that embraces the ecological value of the woodlands as wildlife habitat alongside the cultural value of the Park as a scenic landmark as equally important and mutually reinforcing considerations. In connection with the restoration of Hallett, the Conservancy has instituted regular open hours when the public may now visit the landscape.

Our restoration work included:

  • Removal of invasive plants, improvement of soil health, diversification of native plant communities all supported by the installation of expanded irrigation.
  • Expansion of the system of trails and the creation of an accessible travel way within the Hallett.
  • Lowering the height of the fence that surrounds the Hallett from 8 feet to 4 feet and installing a rustic gate that acts as a visual transition.
  • Construction of a rustic scenic overlook, rustic railings and benches throughout Hallett.

Fifth Avenue Perimeter

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 rebuilt the park perimeter between East 60th and East 65th Streets. The work included replacement of existing pavements and curbs, reconstruction of pedestrian ramps, and installation of new benches. The work was completed in November 2016.


King Jagiello Monument

The conservation of King Jagiello focused on repairs to the internal mounting system and maintenance of its protective coatings.


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.


West 84th Street Playground

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 provides 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 work was part of our Plan for Play initiative.

Our restoration work included:

  • 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.