Central Park Sustainability conference

Making Central Park more sustainable through management of the Central Park woodlands is the subject of a Huffington Post article  and the subject of an October 5, 2012, day long (8am-5pm) conference organized by the Central Park Conservancy and The Cultural Landscape Foundation. Event location Museum Of The City Of New York 1220 Fifth Ave @ 103rd ST

Maintaining Central Park is not easy – and the woodlands, which seem so natural, requires a great deal of attention and balancing the interests of nature and culture (bird watchers, nature lovers, etc).  This is an opportunity to hear from national experts about stewardship of urban woodlands.  As one Central Park Conservancy said of the park, letting nature run its course is not sustainable. 

Nature-Culture II Conference:

The  843-­‐acre  Central  Park,  originally  designed  by  Frederick  Law Olmsted,  Sr.,  and   Calvert Vaux,  with a  succession  of  additions and  refinements  by  Samuel  Parsons,   Jr.,Michael  Rapuano, Gilmore Clarke  and others,  is  also  host  to  230  bird  species,  along   with turtles,  fish,  and countless  species  of  butterflies, dragonflies, and  other  insects.   The  Central  Park  woodlands  are among  the  most historically  significant designed   landscapes  in  the  country, providing  valuable refuge  for  wildlife  and  New   Yorkers alike.  In the  1960s  and  1970s,  Central  Park  experienced an  unprecedented   decline,  suffering  from  neglect  and a  lack  of  management.  Litter filled  its   waterbodies;  its  Great  Lawn  was  a  great  dust  bowl; its woodlands  were  avoided,  not   celebrated.  The  Central  Park Conservancy,  a  private,  not-­‐for-­‐profit organization   created  in 1980,  has  skillfully  and  successfully  reawakened,  restored  and maintained  a world-­‐class  icon.      

Nevertheless,  managing  a  park  that  is  both  a  culturally significant landscape  and   natural  habitat is delicate;  this  conference specifically  examines  sustainability,  the   agendas  of  different constituencies, diversity,  the  role  of  people,  and  public   education.  

Creating  a  progression  of  varied  landscape  experiences  was  a  primary  goal  of  Central   Park's designers. Within  the  landscapes  themselves,  horticultural  diversity  was  also  a   goal.  In the Ramble,  both  exotic  and  native  plants  were  to  provide  a  sense  of lushness  and  intricacy, realizing Olmsted’s  intended  "wild  garden"effect.  Neglect  of   the  Park’s  woodlands  over  a prolonged  period resulted  in  a  lack  of  horticultural  and   social  (as  well  as  scenic)  diversity. What  park  stewards  know is  “letting  nature  take   its  course”  is  not  sustainable.  While  the woodlands  serve  to  provide  the experience   of  escape  from  urban  life,  they  are  in  fact designed  urban  landscapes  that require   consistent  management.  

The  conference  features  two  panels  addressing  this  stewardship  dilemma;  the  irst   (the morning session)  focuses  on  “lessons  learned”  by  public  sector  stewards  at   Prospect  Park  (Brooklyn), New  York Botanical  Garden,  and  The  Presidio  (San   Francisco);  the second  (afternoon  session) will  be comprised of  landscape  architects   in  private  practice  with  experience  in  urban  parks  

complete  list:  

Speakers  and  Moderators:   ␣ Eric  W.  Sanderson,  Senior  Conservation Ecologist,  Wildlife Conservation  Society  (moderator)   ␣ Christian  Zimmerman, Vice  President  for  Design  & Construction,  The  Prospect  Park  Alliance, Brooklyn,  NY   ␣ Michael  Boland,  Chief  Planning, Projects  &  Programs  Officer, The  Presidio  Trust,  San  Francisco,  CA   ␣ Todd  Forrest,  Arthur Ross Vice President  for  Horticulture  and  Living  Collections,  The  New  York  Botanical Garden   ␣ Elizabeth  K. Meyer, Associate  Professor,  University  of  Virginia, School  of  Architecture,  Landscape Architecture  (moderator)   Dennis  McGlade, President/Partner,  OLIN,  Philadelphia,  PA  and  Los Angeles,  CA   ␣ Margie Ruddick,  Margie  Ruddick  Landscape,  Philadelphia,  PA   ␣ Keith  Bowers, Biohabitats, Baltimore,  MD  

Registration  is  $150  and  is  available  at  the  conference  Web  site. The  Central Park  Conservancis  the presenting  sponsor,  with additional  support   provided by Landscape Forms  and  the  Museum  of the  City of New  York.  

About  the  Central  Park  Conservancy :  The  mission  of  the  Central Park Conservancy  is  to restore, manage  and  enhance Central  Park  in partnership  with  the  public,  for  the  enjoyment of present  and future generations. A  private,  not-­‐for-­‐profit  organization  founded  in 1980,  the Conservancy   provides 85 percent of Central  Park's  $46 million  park-­‐wide  expense  budget and  is responsible  for  all  basic care of the Park.  Since  1980,  the  Conservancy has  overseen   the investment  of  more  than  $650  million into Central  Park.  For more information  on   the Conservancy,  please  visit  centralparknyc.org 

About  The  Cultural  Landscape  Foundation: The  Cultural  Landscape Foundation provides  people with the ability to  see, understand and  value landscape architecture  and  its  practitioners, in  the  way many   people have learned  to  do with  buildings  and their  designers. Through  its  Web  site,   lectures,  outreach and publishing,  TCLF broadens  the  support  and  understanding for   cultural landscapes nationwide  to  help safeguard  our priceless heritage  for  future   generations. 

The  Central  Park  Conservancy  is  the  presenting  sponsor,  with additional  support   provided  by Landscape  Forms  and  the  Museum  of the  City  of  New  York.  About  the  Central  Park Conservancy :  The  mission  of  the  Central Park  Conservancy  is  to  restore,  manage  and enhance Central  Park  in partnership  with  the  public,  for  the  enjoyment of present  and future generations. A  private,  not-­‐for-­‐profit  organization  founded  in 1980,  the  Conservancy   provides  85  percent of Central  Park's  $46 million  park-­‐wide  expense  budget  and  is responsible  for  all  basic care  of the Park.  Since  1980,  the  Conservancy  has  overseen   the investment  of  more  than  $650  million into  Central  Park.  For  more information  on   the  Conservancy,  please  visit  centralparknyc.org