Central Park Conservancy will present a plan for restoration of the Ramble and the Ravine
WHEREAS, The Central Park Conservancy is proposing to do restorative work of the Ramble and the Ravine in Central Park; and
WHEREAS, Central Park was created to provide the people of the city with an experience of landscape and nature—a rural retreat that offered a stark visual contrast to the surrounding built environment and a respite from the stresses of urban life and within a larger landscape composition that included pastoral meadows and placid lakes and ponds, the Park's design also included densely planted and wooded areas; and
WHEREAS, While they are as manmade as the rest of the Park, these landscapes design and construction were more elaborate, and the relationship between design and nature within them more complex; and
WHEREAS, The woodlands suffered from management neglect resulting in erosion; overgrowth from self-seeding and invasive species; sedimentation and eutrophication of lakes, pools and water courses; and deterioration of paths, infrastructure, and rustic features; and
WHEREAS, More recently, a number of severe weather events have dramatically impacted the woodlands; and
WHEREAS, The purpose of the current work is to complete the effort to fully restore the Ramble that began with the Lake project, and extend a comparable program of work to the Ravine in the North Woods; and
WHEREAS, Scope of Work encompasses these features:
• Augment and diversify plantings throughout the Ramble and Ravine
• Expand irrigation infrastructure to sustain plantings in both landscapes
• Rebuild paths and drainage infrastructure throughout the Ravine and the unrestored portions of the Ramble
• Replace wood and concrete benches in the Ramble with Central Park settees (the historic bench approved for the Park's Olmstedian landscapes, and installed on the Ramble paths rebuilt as part of the Lake restoration)
• The Gill in the Ramble: Remove accumulated sediments deposited through erosion in unrestored segments of the Gill to reestablish historic depths while maintaining the existing / historic footprint.
• The Loch in the Ravine: Selectively remove portions of the accumulated sediment from the Loch to widen as well as deepen segments of the watercourse. The intent is to recreate a character-defining element of the historic design by reestablishing open pools of water, without removing mature trees established in long-silted-in sections of the Loch.
• Restore the edges of the Gill and the Loch by resetting displaced boulders and reestablishing vegetation.
• Reconstruct one existing and three lost historic rustic shelters in the Ramble according to their original designs; and
WHEREAS, The proposal is harmonious with the woodlands as originally designed by Law Olmsted and Vaux, is sensitive to the environment, and is respectful of the integrity of the area, including in the choice of rustic materials; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the proposal to restore the Ramble and the Ravine.