The Woodlands Initiative


Woodlands Map

The Central Park Conservancy is now embarking on an ambitious initiative to restore the Woodlands of Central Park: the 4-acre Hallett Nature Sanctuary (southeast corner); the 36-acre Ramble (mid-Park, north of the Lake) and the 40-acres North Woods (northwest area). As most evocative of the wilderness, the Woodlands represent the most potent manifestation of the purpose of the Park – to provide all New Yorkers with an experience of nature and respite from the city. This undertaking will also allow the Conservancy to enhance and expand its Woodlands student group and internship programming as well as volunteer opportunities for the general public.


For much of the Twentieth Century these landscapes experienced significant decline and neglect, and their restoration will be the Conservancy’s most complex project to date. This initiative will return the Woodlands to their original glory, enhancing and protecting these fragile landscapes and their wildlife while also enriching the visitor experience as envisioned by Olmsted and Vaux – a piece of the Adirondack Mountains in the middle of New York City.


In 2013 the Conservancy completed site analysis and a natural resources study of the Woodlands, developed restoration concepts and scope of work for the project, and completed the Restoration and Management Planning Framework for the initiative. In fall 2013, the Conservancy completed its first phase of seasonal plantings and began construction for irrigation installation in the Ramble and the North Woods. This work will continue in both landscapes in spring 2014, followed by the beginning of site work (drainage infrastructure and path reconstruction) in summer 2014.


The Woodlands Initiative is a $45 million undertaking, and to date the Conservancy has raised $29.4 million towards this goal.


To learn more, and to support the restoration of Central Park’s Woodlands, please contact Emily Carey at ecarey@centralparknyc.org or 212-310-6685.