Green in the City – New York’s Parks and Gardens

Central Park

New York is a city which you’ve seen in movies and on TV hundreds and times. Skyscrapers reaching for the clouds, tall apartment blocks, all of it making a bit of a concrete jungle. Maybe you’ve gotten your ESTA or visa sorted for travelling to the U.S, and you’ve realised that once you’re there, you’ll need a short break from all the bricks and urban traffic. Luckily, New York City’s got you covered for when you need a quick break from the hustle and bustle.

Central Park, Manhattan

This one seems obvious, but Central Park is the first place you should go when you want to reconnect with nature for a while! The park is huge, with an area of 3.4 square kilometres – and that’s a good thing too, as it’s visited by 40 million people a year. With landscaping designed to look beautiful and natural, you really won’t feel like you’re in the city. People use the six miles of pathways to practise their cycling and jogging, and you might even be lucky enough to see people riding horses through the park. It’s one of the most-filmed locations in the U.S. and it’s easy to see why!

Pelham Bay Park, Bronx

You may have thought that Central Park was big, but Pelham Bay Park is the largest park by area within the New York City limits. At a whopping 11.19km squared, this park boasts beautiful coastal views for you to enjoy. Having been part of inhabited land for hundreds of years, there’s a rich historical tradition in this park too. You might have thought that nature didn’t have much of a place in the city, and you’d be wrong – this park is home to a huge salt flat nature reserve, where you can look at all sorts of native animals and birds.

Seton Falls Park, Bronx

Another park in the Bronx, this one is known for its man-made waterfall which lets water flow through the wooded and natural surroundings. This one’s great or kids too, with play areas and spots to play ball games scattered throughout. It’ll give you a nice break from the rest of the city if you’re so inclined.

Botanic Garden, Brooklyn

Founded in 1910, this garden has been providing something beautiful for people to visit in the borough of Brooklyn for over 100 years. Unlike the other parks, this one isn’t free to enter, but you’re paying for a specialist plants like nothing else. With a japanese garden and pond, a bonsai exhibit, and also an array of native plants to show off the region’s wildlife, this garden has it all. They’ve even bred their own kinds of brand new plant varieties – not many people can say the same!

New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Staten Island

Constructed by artists from Suzhou, China, this garden opened to the public in the late 90s. Part of the Staten Island botanical garden, this small piece of heaven will make a wonderful stop off if you’re visiting Staten island for all its other attractions. You can relax watching koi in the pond, meditate while passing through the calming structures, and just absorb something beautiful right in the middle of the city.

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