West 86th-90th Street Landscape Restoration

The landscape between West 86th and West 90th Streets, just west of the Reservoir, was suffering the effects of intense use and deficient infrastructure. The increasing use of the Park over the last two decades along with inadequate drainage and irrigation infrastructure resulted in erosion and compaction of the landscape’s once green and inviting lawns. Landscape plantings were lacking and interior paths and perimeter pavements were in need of repair and replacement.

The Conservancy made much-needed improvements to the infrastructure and design of the area to better maintain the landscape and enhance the visitor experience.

The project included:

  • Restoring the meadow and installing fresh sod
  • Adding landscape plantings (including ground cover, shrubs, and trees) at the West 86th and West 90th Street entrances and along the perimeter wall to provide a sense of depth, as well as help screen the 86th Street Transverse Road and the subway grates along the inside of the perimeter wall
  • Reconstructing subsurface drainage and installing new irrigation throughout the landscape to support improved maintenance of turf and plantings
  • Reconstructing paths throughout the landscape, and regrading the steeply sloped path between the 86th Street entrance and the West Drive to provide an ADA-accessible route from the perimeter to the Reservoir and other key Park destinations
  • Reconstructing the Park perimeter between West 86th and West 90th Streets, including in-kind replacement of hexagonal asphalt block pavers in the central walkway, resetting of the granite block in the tree margins that flank the walkway, and reconstruction of existing curbs and pedestrian ramps


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Project Status


West 86th Street Landscape Before West 86th Street Perimeter Construction West 86th Street Perimeter, After

Left to right: Landscape before reconstruction; perimeter construction; perimeter after reconstruction.

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