THE CURRENT CENTRAL PARK

In 1980, after the park had two decades of decline, management of Central Park was taken over by the Central Park Conservancy, a public-private body that commits to raising about 1/4 of the operating budget for the park, about $5 million annually.

Central Park is very “controlled” with many fences and DO NOT signs, but also an every-present maintenance staff picking up trash and emptying trashcans 7 day a week.

No provisions are made for ground sports, though they play anyway.

Softball and tennis have a large presence as a “grand fathering” of existing facilities was forced by the users, much to the chagrin of the Conservancy who has tried to push out teams sports.

As with Golden Gate Park, dozens of small user groups claim a public space for their activity at established times. These include drumming, skating, parenting groups and dancing.

Central Park has a number of privately run facilities serving “up-scale” users. The Tavern on the Green, the Delacorte Theater, the Boathouse, Wollman Ice-skating Rink are venues for excellent entertainment, food, and beverage for a price.

For the “common folk” there are ever-present cart venders offering moderately priced fair.

The posted closing time for Central Park is 1 am, therefore the path system is lighted.

 

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