The Dene (a term meaning valley) is a long stretch of eastside landscape that exemplifies both the design features and the intended effect of Olmsted's pastoral vision. It offers gently rolling lawns and shaded walks. For some Park visitors it is simply a route to another destination, such as Conservatory Water to the north or the Zoo to the south. But the Dene should be relished for its own charm, as its own destination.
At the northern end is a verdant meadow, the East Green — a place for quiet reflection, reading or admiring the surrounding Kwanzan Cherry trees, crabapples, and magnolias in bloom. At the southern end is the summerhouse, a rustic wood shelter (one of three in Central Park) atop an imposing rock outcrop. From the inside you can see the basic skeleton of its design, including the central post that curtains the roof. The juxtaposition of this quaint structure against the Fifth Avenue skyline is another reminder that the Park was designed as a refuge from the City.