Largely Unknown Section of Central Park Now Open to the Public
Spreading an impressive 843 acres in the middle of a busy city, it's no mystery that Central Park is a huge place. Stretching from 59th to 110th Street, even seasoned New Yorkers have yet to explore the entire urban park. Now there is even more to see thanks to the reopening of a four acre section of land that has been closed since the 1930s. The newly renovated area, the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, will be opening this summer and promises to be "a peaceful haven just feet away from some of Central Park's busiest paths."
The little-known section of land can be found near the southeast corner of the park, just south of Wollman Rink.
Originally called "the Promontory" by the park's designers, the section is the only permanently fenced-off area in the park. Robert Moses, then-NYC Parks Commissioner, decided to preserve the area as a bird sanctuary in 1934. It was renamed after George Harvey Hallett Jr., a bird watcher and civic leader, in 1986.
The sanctuary was then left untouched until 2001, when the Central Park Conservancy began the massive job of cleaning it up as part of their $45 million Woodlands Initiative. This involved serious planning and landscaping, removing invasive species, planting native plants, and installing an irrigation system to help with frequent watering.
The area, which is essentially a real-life secret garden, is opening its doors (or more specifically, its rustic wooden gate) to the public during select hours. According to The New York Times, it will be open 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. three days a week until June 30, and then four days a week from July 1 to August 31.