Central Park is a green area of a 341 hectare area (3, 41 km ², about 4 km on 800 meters), located in the borough from Manhattan to New York. It is managed by Central Park Conservancy (committee of maintenance of Central Park) which has an annual 200 million dollar budget, and is maintained in the same capacity as other green areas of the city by New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (Department of the green areas of the city of New York). Central Park constitutes the biggest green area of the city of New York, if five boroughs big of the city are taken into account only. Finished in 1873 after thirteen years of building, according to the plans of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (also at the origin of the prospective buyer Park of Brooklyn), Central Park represents an oasis of greenery in the middle of the forest of guitars-sky of Manhattan, even if it is located north of the island where buildings are a little lower. It is delimited by the 110th street in the north, the 8th avenue on the West, the 59th street in the south and the 5th avenue in the East. These streets are respectively called Central Park North, Central Park West and Central Park South, and the park is supervised by two residential areas: the Upper East Side (in the East) and the Upper West Side (on the West). With 37, 5 million visitors a year, Central Park is the park most visited in the United States.
His natural aspect is the result of an important environmental job: the park contains several artificial lakes (of whom the most important, The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir stretches over 0, 43 km ²) 3, pedestrian zed ways, two tracks of ice-skating, a zone of protection of wild life and lawns to do sports and practice outdoor games. The park is besides a “sanctuary” for migrant birds, where many observers come to discover them. A road of 9, 7 km long, relatively not much seen frequently by the motorists, encircles the park. She can be borrowed by the pedestrians, the long-distance runners, the cyclists or else the supporters of the roller, especially the weekend and on weekdays after nineteen hours, when the car traffic is completely forbidden there.
Central Park is composed of several big areas of lawn, on which the tourists, and the New Yorkers, have habit to come to spend their leisure. But the park is also punctuated of gardens. The biggest space of lawn of the park is Great Lawn (literally big lawn) who is located in the middle of Central Park, at the level of Metropolitan Museum of Art, and of American Museum of Natural History, two of the most famous museums of the city. Great Lawn, very often photographed occupied by hundred of persons, takes back the most part of the rectangular space in the past covered by Lower Reservoir, of a fourteen hectare surface.
At the level of the 72nd street, that is to say in front of the Dakota Building, the Strawberry Fields Monument, returns honor to the singer of Beatles John Lennon, assassinated close to this building by a lunatic named Mark David Chapman, on December 8th, 1980. Strawberry Fields was inaugurated the day of the birthday of John Lennon, October 9th, 1985, in the presence of its widow Yoko Ono, which had taken care of plan at the level of a million dollars.
The southeast of the park shelters besides the Central Park Zoo, managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society. This last is divided into three climatic zones, among which the one reconstructs a humid rainforest. The zoo shelters more than hundred kind’s différentes15. Conservatory Garden, botanical gardens drawn by Gilmore D. Clarke is as for him located north of the park. His entrance is on the 5th avenue, at the level of the 105th street. Besides, since 1916, Shakespeare Garden, inaugurated the three centuries afterwards the death of the writer shelters different plant kinds which appear in his pièces16.
Central Park shelters several man-made lakes, going of the simple pond to the true artificial lake. The main man-made lake of Central Park is Reservoir, who has the name of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis reservoir since 1994 17. Its building spread out from 1858 till 1862 and he covers a space included between the 86th street and the 96th street. Of a 42, 9 hectare area, it attains by places a depth of more than twelve meters, and contains several thousand million liters of eau18. Reservoir is especially known to New Yorkers for the track of 2, 54 km jogging which encircles him, and that receives every day of the thousands of sportsmen who go it around.
The central reservoir in winter
Reservoir is from a distance the biggest man-made lake of Central Park, owing three other artificial lakes. In the south of Great Lawn, The Lake stretches on about 7, 3 hectares. Constructed on an ancient marsh, it had been imagined by Olmsted and Valleys to receive boats in summer, and ice skaters in winter. The Lake was so opened to the skaters in December, 1858, while the rest of the park was still there construction19. Extremely northeast of the park, at the level of the 110th street, Harlem Meer (Lake of Harlem in Dutch, called in favor of one of the first communities established in the region) stretches on about 4, 5 hectares. Very wooded, the lake, encircled with oaks, with cypress and with beeches, was constructed only after the completion of the south of the park. Harlem Meer has feature besides to authorize the visitors to fish, on the condition of unloosing fish by suite20. Finally the third main man-made lake is located in the southeast corner. It is of the pool), of a 1, 4 hectare area Lays (literally. Lays him, whose form reminds of that of a comma, is located at the level of the entrance most borrowed by Central Park, under the sea level, what allows to attenuate the different noise of the city, and to generate an impressive atmosphere of peace right in the centre of New York.
Central Park is a place very appreciated by the sportsmen. The perimeter of the park is 9, 65 kilometers, and many tracks inside the park (West Drive, East Drive, and especially the Reservoir Running Track (track of jogging of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir), long of 2, 54 km23) constitute paradise for the runners, cyclists, and other skaters. Shopping takes place practically every weekend, most being organized by New York Road Runners, an association which counts more than 40 000 members, and is also charging up of the Marathon of New York, which ends besides every year in Central Park, at the level of Tavern on the Green, in the past a very appraised restaurant. But other many professional shopping is organized in the park every year. Besides, the park has a long tradition of place of practice of the skate on ice, and of horse-riding, this last activity having stayed in the course of the years thanks to the Claremont Riding Academy (academy of horse-riding Claremont) founded in 1892.
With its 341 hectares of verdure25, Central Park represents the largest green area of Manhattan. He has one of the last plantations of American elms in the northeast of the United States. There is 1 700, protected by their isolation of the illness of the graphics, caused by a parasitic mushroom which devastated most American elms since 1928. The park shelters a total of 250 000 trees and bushes.
Central Park is the starting point of the plague of starlings, which spread everywhere in North America. They think that one individual of four in the United States finds his origin with Central Park. In 2002, a new kind of millipede was discovered in the park. This animal, an arthropod, measures a little more than one centimeter long, what makes one of the smallest of its category. The urban park has 270 kinds of birds and 14 kinds of mammals (rabbits, marmots, squirrels, cleaner young rats). He is on the Atlantic road of the migrant birds which stop there. The morning, in Turtle Pond, it is possible to see herons argentés25, and about 80 000 fish evolves in Harlem Meer
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