“a serene escape, with ducks”
When Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux designed Central Park, they imagined an immediate reprieve from the city’s streets. The Pond became a serene escape, just feet from Fifth Avenue.The Pond is one of Central Park’s seven naturalistic water bodies. Despite the millions of visitors who walk by the water’s edge each year, you can still find a sense of solitude. It’s hard to believe that this setting – like almost all of Central Park – is completely man-made.At the northeast end of the Pond is Gapstow Bridge. Across the simple stone bridge is a fenced-in, wooded promontory that juts into the water. This is Hallett Nature Sanctuary. Behind Hallett’s gates is a 3.5-acre ecosystem that mimics the wild, where small animals and birds can thrive in a secluded habitat.If you’ve ever read The Catcher in the Rye, you’ll remember Holden Caulfield visiting The Pond and asking, “Where do the ducks go in the winter?” The answer is that most stay in the Park, but about 240 species migrate each fall and spring.The Central Park Conservancy completed a reconstruction of the Pond in 2001, which included new shoreline and perimeter plantings, an island habitat for birds and turtles, a series of small pools and spillways, a cascade, and a series of seasonal floral displays at the edge of the large lawn.
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