Magazine article American Forests

Restoring Prospect Park

Magazine article American Forests

Restoring Prospect Park

Article excerpt

In the 1860s, Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's vision of forested spaces for urban dwellers led to the creation of many gorgeous parks, including the magnificent 526-acre Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York. Except for the Terminal Moraine boulders of the area's natural hills and valleys, the Park is completely manmade.

A system of ponds, brooks, and waterfalls originally ran through wooded gorges into 60-acre Prospect Lake. Some of the pools and streams were silted in, according to Glenn Phillips, executive director of the Park's Audubon Center, and a 100-foot-deep ravine and other areas were closed due to natural and human-caused erosion.

The park has 7 million visitors a year--that's 14 million feet--Phillips says, and "that can do a lot of damage."

An ambitious project to restore Prospect Park has been underway since 1994, carried out by the Prospect Park Alliance, a public/private partnership with the city of New York. The Alliance's natural resources crew, the Youth Council's woodlands crew, and many volunteers have been working to restore it to its original state--but with a few differences. …

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