Climate Lab: The Past, Present, and Future of the Central Park Landscape (Virtual)

Join the Central Park Conservancy and New-York Historical Society for a joint program on climate change in Central Park

From its inception, Central Park has served as a site for the observation and study of New York City’s environmental and climatic shifts. The transformation of 843 acres into one of the world’s most celebrated landscapes forever altered the land’s flow of waterways and species of flora and fauna. Since 1869, the National Weather Service has recorded the City’s daily temperature in Central Park. Now, the Central Park Conservancy has partnered with the Natural Areas Conservancy and the Yale School of the Environment on the Central Park Climate Lab to conduct research and develop tools to help urban parks navigate the effects of climate change.

Join us for a virtual conversation with Central Park Conservancy Historian Emerita Sara Cedar Miller, Central Park Conservancy Manager of Climate Change Research Michelle Mueller-Gámez, and historian Russell Shorto about the history of natural and anthropogenic landscape changes and the future of climate research in Central Park. Learn little-known details about the landscape’s origin from prehistoric glacial drifts and how Frederick Law Olmsted’s design decisions are informing new data on the struggle that parks face on a warming planet.

Sara Cedar Miller has been the Central Park Conservancy’s historian emerita since 2017. She was the Conservancy’s photographer from 1984 and its historian from 1989 to 2017. She has appeared on radio, TV, documentaries, and virtual presentations about Central Park history. In 2020, Miller was honored with the Preservation Hero Award by the Library of American Landscape History. She is the author of Central Park, An American Masterpiece (Abrams, 2003), Strawberry Fields: Central Park’s Memorial to John Lennon (Abrams, 2011), Seeing Central Park: The Official Guidebook (Abrams, 2021), and Before Central Park (Columbia University Press, 2022).

Michelle Mueller-Gámez is the Manager of Climate Change Research at the newly established Central Park Climate Lab. She works with the Natural Areas Conservancy, Yale School of the Environment, and the Central Park Conservancy staff to assess the impacts of climate change on urban park land and to advance adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Russell Shorto is the director of the New Amsterdam Project at the New-York Historical Society. He is the author of Smalltime: A Story of My Family and the Mob (2021) and six earlier books, including the national bestseller The Island at the Center of the World (2004).

This event will be hosted virtually. Zoom registration link to come.
The program will include time for audience questions.