Amid Freshly Planted Trees, New Park Takes Shape on Governor's Island

by Connor Ryan
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Governor's Island.

Connor Ryan

Thirty acres of the 172-acre island is being redesigned into a park, which will open next spring.

The narrow pathways have not yet been paved. Rows of small trees have just been planted. 

The far end of Governor's Island is in the process of being transformed into a 30-acre public park. Athletic fields sit in one corner, and a formal garden in the other. Play areas are being set up for children and 10 acres of hammocks and swings will be installed for those seeking a little downtime.

Jamie Maslyn Larson, a principal architect of West 8 — the urban planning firm in charge of the project, says that while the new park will undoubtedly redefine the island, there is still opportunity to experience everything that makes Governor's Island unique.

"Our intention was to really transform [the 30 acres of park space], and that's why we really sculpted and shaped it," Larson said. "It really accentuates the views off-site and brings you these vistas of water."

She added: "Whether it's a unicycle festival or a punk music festival or a Civil War reenactment, there's a lot of interesting programming that the [Trust for Governor's Island] and the National Park Service do. We've tried to support that in the park design."

The island is now closed for the winter; it will reopen in May. New Yorkers had a chance to preview the new park this weekend.

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