Saturday, July 19, 2008

Two more stories suggesting the (possible) rural character of Central Park

I've scoffed before at the idea of Manhattan's Central Park as rural, but two recent stories in the NYT have called attention to the park's "wilderness" and "wildlife," if not necessarily its rurality.

One is headlined, "In an Urban Wilderness: Tracking the Hoots of Night," and it is accompanied by a photo of folks looking for moths at night in Central Park.

The other, "Behind the dam, one fierce holdout," is about the relocation of a snapping turtle and other wildlife by Central Park Conservancy workers earlier this week. Here's an excerpt:

The mission was billed as a “fish rescue,” but it was a big old snapping turtle that stole the show on Wednesday — as 24-inch, 30-pound reptiles tend to do, especially if they look more like inhabitants of “Jurassic Park” than Central Park.

The rescue was necessary because the Central Park Conservancy is undertaking an ambitious restoration of the lake, the largest of the park’s naturalistic water bodies (leaving aside the reservoir).

The goal is to renew the lake “in a manner that recalls its picturesque origins while recognizing its increasing significance as wildlife habitat,” the conservancy said.
Wildlife habitat, huh? Well, that is certainly one aspect of rurality.

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