Eighty years after it was closed to the eyes of the world, New York’s Secret Garden near Fifth Avenue is just re-opened. Hallett Nature Sanctuary which is the full name of this paradise in the heart of New York City, occupying an area of 1.6 hectares and is one of three forested part of Central Park, which annually visited by over 43 million people. This small piece of nature is hidden in the southeastern part of the park, just a few meters from the designer boutiques and luxury apartment blocks. For decades, this part of the city was fenced and locked, with the prohibition of any approach.
“The story is, Robert Moses closed it off because he wanted it to turn into a bird sanctuary,” said Douglas Blonsky, who as president and chief executive of the Central Park Conservancy is the park’s administrator. Moses became the parks commissioner in 1934.
In 2001, the association for the preservation of Central Park decided to restore this oasis, which at that time was under the influence of wisteria. For years they fought against it, organize the work of schools and volunteers. “A lot of people think that wisteria is a beautiful plant with purple flowers. But, if you allowe to develop unhindered, it will occupy all of its surroundings, “explained Blonsky.
Rustic paths are designed and covered with pieces of wood, while the entrance to this garden received a beautiful wooden gate. Local wild plants are transplanted, a bench located at the top of this garden give visitors the opportunity to enjoy the songs of birds, surrounded by greenery, while skyscrapers rising above them.
Hallet Nature Sanctuary will be open to the public Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until the end of the summer. Between July 1 and August 31, it will also be open on Sundays between 11am and 1pm.