Sheep Meadow

Sheep Meadow

A designated Quiet Zone, Sheep Meadow is a lush, 15-acre lawn designed for picnics, sunbathing, and simple relaxation with a stunning view of the New York City skyline.

Originally an uninspiring bit of rock and swampland, Sheep Meadow is now a vision of green expanse, an oasis of peace in the middle of New York City. The design was meant to inspire calm, refreshing thoughts in anyone who looked across its 15 acres.

Transforming the rocky swampland into a lush lawn was not easy, and in fact, Sheep Meadow was by far the most expensive part of Central Park’s original construction. Designers blasted out rock and put in several feet of soil in its place. From 1864 to 1934, the meadow had a dedicated team of somewhat unusual caretakers: a flock of grazing sheep. They tended the meadow during the day and spent their evenings in the Sheepfold (now Tavern on the Green).

In the 1960s, Sheep Meadow became an iconic hotspot of countercultural activity like anti-War protests, peace rallies, queer liberation rallies, love-ins, be-ins, draft card burnings, Earth Day celebrations, and popular concerts. Due to the bustling activity and lack of maintenance, the beloved lawns turned into a virtual dust-bowl in the mid 20th century.

In 1980, the Central Park Conservancy took on the restoration of Sheep Meadow as its first project. Seeing the iconic meadow restored to lustrous beauty and health thrilled New Yorkers, who had grown used to a damaged, unkempt lawn. The project's success spurred on decades of restoration projects throughout the Park.

Location

Mid-Park at 66th-69th Streets

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Hours

Opens daily at 11:00 am, conditions permitting.


Sheep Meadow closes during the winter season to allow the lawn to rest.

Restrooms

No