Scrapbook: 35 Years for the Park


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  • The Sheep Meadow today, as the Conservancy celebrates its 35th birthday




  • The Sheep Meadow, before it was cleaned up by the Central Park Conservancy in 1980




Leaders of the Central Park Conservancy gathered at Tavern on the Green to toast the group’s 35th anniversary.

The sheep meadow, pictured above, was the group’s first big maintenance project in 1980. Since then, the Conservancy has successfully transformed the 843-acre park from an emblem of urban neglect into the crown jewel of New York City, attracting more than 40 million visitors a year.

Over 35 years, the Conservancy has invested nearly $750 million into every corner of the vast park: lawns, trees, gardens, water bodies and woodlands, fountains, playgrounds and monuments—including a 3,500 year old Egyptian obelisk-- all maintained by the Conservancy.

The Conservancy’s founding president, Betsy Barlow Rogers, reminisced about the early days of the nonprofit when it was just a small band of citizens hoping to reclaim their park.

“When we held our first board meeting on December 3, 1980 we had no idea what to expect,” Rogers said. “We certainly never could have imagined that Central Park could look like it does today.”





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