Restoration

Lawn Restorations

Every year millions of visitors enjoy the Park’s free, open green spaces, and the Conservancy takes tremendous pride in maintaining and caring for beloved areas like the Great Lawn, Sheep Meadow, and the Great Hill. Over time, however, heavy usage can cause soil compaction that makes these landscapes susceptible to erosion and weeds. The Conservancy’s Landscape Management team consistently monitors the Park’s lawns. When we identify locations with worn out and compacted soil, we remove existing turf and install new sod to establish healthier, more sustainable grass and prevent weed invasion.

Please mind the fences and refrain from walking on the lawn as we carry out our work. Together, we can keep this vital green space healthy and available for all to enjoy.

Why Is the Great Lawn Closed?

The Great Lawn was substantially damaged by the concert held on September 23, 2023, in the rain. The impact of heavy equipment and intense foot traffic in the saturated conditions damaged a large portion of the lawn and fully destroyed a third of it.

The Conservancy will seed and aerate the lawn, where possible. This requires time for the seed to germinate and establish itself. Approximately three acres sustained such significant damage that seeding is not a viable solution and sodding is necessary. Sod needs several months to establish itself before it can withstand the heavy athletic and recreational use the Great Lawn typically receives.

Find out how the Central Park Conservancy Turf Care team is taking action to repair this iconic landscape.

Why are Lawns Closed in the Winter?

Grass stops growing in the cold weather, causing active use from visitors to rub it away (which would significantly impact the lawns come spring, summer, and fall). The one exception is when it snows. The Conservancy opens lawns when they're covered with at least six inches of snow because it protects the grass from use, heavy winds, bright sun, and other elements that can harm it.

Upcoming Restorations

In fall 2023, select lawn areas by the Maine Monument (west side at 59th Street), Billy Johnson Playground (east side at 67th Street), Tarr-Coyne Wild West Playground (west side at 93rd Street), Belvedere Castle (mid-Park at 79th Street), and around Sheep Meadow (west side between 66th and 69th Streets) are being restored. During this time the Conservancy will install temporary fencing, remove the existing turf, and install new sod.

Resources

To learn more about how we care for the lawns, check out these helpful resources:

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