Magazine

An Illustrated Guide to Getting Involved in Central Park’s Care

As much as we all need the Park—for recreation, rest, and renewal—the Park needs us too! Here are some easy ways to get involved in keeping the City’s 843-acre oasis clean and green:

Central Park is a re-TREE-t! Show your love for these magnificent leafy species:

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    Give them a friendly hug to thank them for cleaning the air and filtering rain.
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    Walk softly around their roots rather than on top of them.
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    Never climb their branches, pick their flowers, or etch into their bark.

While the Park’s trees are essential to the wellbeing of New York City, New Yorkers are essential to their health. As much as we need these majestic plants, they need us too!

Overflowing trash cans drive the Park’s squirrels nuts! Carry out what you bring into the Park:

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    Clean up your trash and litter.
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    Carry out any trash that you bring into the Park to avoid creating large piles at the recycling and garbage receptacles.
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    Go trash-free! If you pack your picnic in reusable containers, you’ll enjoy a sustainable summer outing. The Park’s flora and fauna will thank you.

Without trash to feed on, the number of rats found in the Park decreases. And with fewer rats to compete with for food, other species, including chipmunks, have returned to Central Park throughout the years―a big win for preserving the Park’s biodiversity!

“It’s not easy being green...or great!" We hear you, Great Lawn.

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    Use blankets and cloth materials, which are gentle on the Park's lawns, for your picnic spread.
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    Leave tarps, plastic, and inflatable couches at home. Because they heat up so easily, they can burn the grass below them—even in just a few hours.
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    Enjoy all the benefits of the nature around you! Protect the Park’s lawns by keeping your garbage out of the landscapes. Central Park is home to mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, and other animals who can become sick or injured from ingesting non-food items like plastic wrappers or fishing line.

Central Park’s lawns make NYC even cooler―grass releases oxygen, stabilizes soil, absorbs water from storms, and keeps the air cool. Hear from the Great Lawn itself on what it needs to stay great. Thank you for your help in keeping the Park's lawns healthy and vibrant!

Don’t let the dog out...without a leash:

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    Always keep your pet leashed, unless in an area specifically designated for off-leash hours (6:00 am–9:00 am and 9:00 pm–1:00 am).
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    Keep your four-legged friend’s favorite play space clean and safe for the wildlife! Please don’t let them dig, chase wildlife, or interfere with other Park users.
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    Respect signs, fences, and red flags that may indicate temporary closures due to restoration, maintenance, or weather conditions. And save the swimming for the beach: Keep your dogs out of all water bodies. The Park’s water bodies have harmful algal blooms, so it’s in the best interest of you and your dog to never enter them.

Thank you for your help in ensuring visitors and pets alike enjoy their leisure time in the Park safely! Check out our Dog Owner’s Guide for more information.

Keep the wild in the Park’s wildlife:

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    Stay on the path: Walking off paths can damage plants and disturb animals. Fenced areas give animals and sensitive plantings a break from people.
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    Take pictures, not souvenirs: If every visitor took home a flower or leaf, there wouldn’t be any left in the Park.
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    Save your snacks for yourself. Wild animals have unique diets and human food is dangerously unhealthy for them.

Thank you for helping the Park stay the lively ecosystem that it is!