Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Central Park

Boaters on the Big Lake in Central Park

Central Park is impressive. We had outdated impressions of a rundown, dangerous park that people avoided. That was not the case at all. It was well-maintained, safe, and was filled with all types of people enjoying the park in various ways. We were impressed by the size of it (840+ acres), the number of activities available, the various walking, running, and biking paths, and the overall appearance.

The land for the park was purchased in 1856 and the park was officially opened in 1876. Over 125 years later, the park looks great. Credit goes to the Central Park Conservancy who over the last 25 years halted the slide of the park in the 1970s and completely turned its fortunes around.

Especially interesting to us were the large rock outcroppings of Manhattan schist. The schist bedrock layer (also called Cambrian Manhattan Formation) provides a great base to build upon. Central Park is apparently a popular site for geology field trips because the Manhattan schist crops out in so many places making studying it easy.

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