Section of Central Park Closed for 80 Years Just Reopened

It was closed as a bird sanctuary in the 1930s
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2016 2:45 PM CDT
Section of Central Park Closed for 80 Years Just Reopened

Four of Central Park's 843 acres that have remained largely hidden for 80 years are finally open to the public once again, the New York Times reports. According to Curbed New York, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary—originally known as the Promontory—is adjacent to the Pond in the southeast corner of the park. It was closed to the public in the 1930s by a parks commissioner who wanted to turn it into a bird sanctuary. Unfortunately, the fenced-off area was promptly overrun by invasive plant species. Workers started restoring it in 2001 as part of a $40 million Central Park Conservancy revitalization project.

Among other things, workers installed a gate, built pathways, and replaced invasive plants with native species. Now, the Central Park Conservancy calls the Hallett sanctuary—one of only three woodland areas in the park—"a peaceful haven just feet away from some of Central Park's busiest paths." The organization says the work done on the area has made it "more diverse and healthy than ever." The sanctuary will be open to the public for a few hours three to four days a week through the end of August. (Some visionaries want to add a "skyscraper" to the park.)

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