New Yorkers on Central Park

New York is a city of many voices. Sometimes loud, often opinionated. But they all come together to add depth and dimension to the city that we love. Lately, we’ve been listening closely to what New Yorkers have to say about Central Park—fondly known as their 843-acre backyard.

They spoke of their appreciation for the birds and the shade of the trees. We heard how the Park is their place for both socialization and solitude in the middle of this nonstop city. New Yorkers need Central Park in myriad ways. It enhances their lives—and in return, New Yorkers enhance the Park. As the caretakers of this greenspace, we at the Central Park Conservancy love hearing our visitors’ stories and sharing how everyone experiences this space and gets involved in their own ways.

“Look around,” Colson Whitehead wrote of Central Park in The Colossus of New York, his lyrical tribute to the City. “Brought together in this moment in a park... A community. And fancy that in a city.” A community, indeed. The Park needs us—all of us.

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"Central Park represented the NYC I had always dreamed about. It’s the calm in the storm that is NYC. It’s the quiet in the midst of rush hour honking. And it is the safe haven when the hustle and bustle of NYC living becomes overwhelming. I think that every New Yorker has [a] connection to Central Park." —Nina Boesch, Park visitor

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“Sometimes I find wildlife in the Park, while other times, I find solitude. And that's all I need." —Dan Cermak, Park visitor

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“As much as I love urban life, humans are supposed to be near nature. I love the Park and appreciate everything you do to care for it!” —Helena Duffee, Park visitor

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“I revel at the Park's contrast to the ever-increasing density of the built environment around it. When I see the tree-top canopy of the Park, I see a vast sea of green that’s breathtaking." —John Reddick, Director of Community Engagement Projects at the Central Park Conservancy

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“Central Park is a microcosm of the City itself. Each part is like a different neighborhood. I just want to say thank you to everyone connected with the Conservancy. I remember Central Park when it felt abandoned. The Conservancy has performed a miracle.” —Philip Schiller, Park visitor

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“In the morning when you enter the Park, you see the sunrise through the trees. And the Reservoir, even on a super cold day, you look at it with those buildings behind it… It’s incredible to have a job in Central Park.” —Serena Candiani, Manager of Volunteer Engagement at the Central Park Conservancy

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“We want this park to shine, to grow, to be the very best park in the world. And I think every volunteer has that little bit of love inside, and we share that.” —Martha Dao, Conservancy volunteer

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“After the decay in the ‘70s, Central Park needed the energetic, massive support of Park-lovers. Today’s Park, clean, meticulously maintained throughout four seasons, needs armies of invisible elves working to keep it pristine. And you folks at the Conservancy.” —Snehanshu & Rosario Ghosh, Park visitors

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“What a joy! What a blessing to be able to explore all the hidden treasures and pleasures of the Park." —Ayanna Ricco, Park visitor

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“It's the work and love that's put into the Park—that's what makes it magical." —Dorothy Camporeale, Park visitor

Kaitlyn Zafonte is Editor/Copywriter at the Central Park Conservancy.