Why New Yorkers value Central Park's vast space.
I’ve heard there’s a place in America where the ground is so expensive that some people measure its cost per square inch? Do you know where?
Maybe you guessed this one. It’s New York City.
I’m a small town girl, so recently, while visiting New York City to celebrate my birthday (yes…39 again), I had an aha! moment that brought the value of ground into a whole new perspective.
Larry and I wanted to walk around Manhattan and end up at The Museum of Natural History. Picking up a map at a travel stand, I immediately unfolded it and started looking at the route to take. My eyes scanned the page, and then stopped. There, right in the middle of New York City, was a large green rectangular blob. That’s odd, I thought. The printer must have made a mistake.
Soon I realized, though, that what I was looking at was Central Park…843 square acres in a six-mile perimeter. Right in the middle of a city filled with skyscrapers where every inch of ground costs a fortune! New Yorkers long ago dedicated Central Park, the first public park in America. And ever since, they have fiercely guarded its 136 acres of woodlands, its lakes and lawns and 275 species of birds.
Larry and I found the energy of the city contagious, and we got in the spirit. We walked. And walked. And walked…past Grand Central Station, past the New York City Library, past Times Square, past Carnegie Hall all the way to Central Park. Surely, we were almost there! We knew the Museum of Natural History was right across from the park.
Ah! But what we didn’t realize was how l-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong Central Park is. And so we continued to walk. And walk. And walk. Soon we regretted not taking the horse and carriage that went by. We saw bicyclists pedaling, runners running, children playing, skaters roller-blading, But no Museum of Natural History!
It was another mile of walking—all alongside Central Park—before we saw the Museum of Natural History and I finally dragged myself up the front steps.
The point is this…with all the pressure to build, wouldn’t you think the people of New York would realize how silly it is to forgo all the income that could be made from covering Central Park with skyscrapers? Wouldn’t you think city government would decide to capitalize on that valuable open space to get more tax revenue?
Yet, there it stands…Central Park. A monument to how much people love…not just love, NEED, open space around them. More money for businesses? More taxes for government? New Yorkers aren’t buying it. Open space. More precious than money.
I’d love to hear from you. Where’s your favorite spot of open space?
Feel free to email me your environmental tips and questions!