Natural History of New York City's Parks and Great Gull Island

Date: April 23, 2008
Location: Arsenal Gallery, Central Park, New York, NY

An Uncommon Ground panel discussion with Alexander Brash, Alexander Felson, Marcel Van Ooyen, and Elizabeth Barlow Rogers.

Time: 6:00 pm.

Seating is limited. RSVP is required. RSVP to the Parks and Recreation Department, at 212-360-1324 or email rsvp@parks.nyc.gov.

NPCA is pleased to announce the release of Natural History of New York City's Parks and Great Gull Island, the collaborative book written and published by NPCA, the Linnaean Society of New York, and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. This volume contains detailed research on the ecological assets of the city’s parks, reflects on the natural beauty inherent in the resources of the region, and highlights the resilience of the flora and fauna. At the dawn of the 21st century, this metropolis of 9 million people is still home to many of the same species that thrived hundreds of years ago, including a colony of endangered piping plovers at Rockaway Beach and 76 species of butterflies on State Island alone. The 320-page book stands as a reminder of the importance and impact of preserving critical elements of our ecosystems, both within national parks and the smaller city parks that enhance our daily lives. It should be an inspirational resource for the nature enthusiast and history buff alike.

"Uncommon Ground" is a series of events presenting the ideas of thoughtful and visionary planners and practitioners on how the park system of the future can grow and flourish, even against the backdrop of economic uncertainty. This series explores concepts in park and garden design, recreation sports, historic and environmental preservation, and public education.

Alexander Brash is the Northeast Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, America's leading voice for the parks. Prior to joining NPCA in 2004, Alex spent many years working for New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as the Director of the Management Planning Division and Chief of the Natural Resources Group.

Alexander Felson is a landscape architect and ecologist specializing in ecological design and sustainability. He has lectured at the Ecological Society of America, the Institute of Ecology (UGA), UPENN, RISD, CCNY, and was a teaching fellow at Harvard Design School. Mr. Felson is the co-founder of Ecology in Design (EiD) at Harvard, an organization dedicated to infusing ecological ideas into the design curriculum.

Elizabeth Barlow Rogers is the director of Garden History and Landscape Studies at Bard Graduate Center for studies in the Decorative Arts, Design and Culture. She was the first Central Parl administrator and founder of the Central Park Conservancy in 1980. She is an author and landscape preservationist.

Marcel Van Ooyen is the President of the Council of the Environment of NYC (CENYC), a hands-on non-profit that has been improving New York City's environment for over thirty years. CENYC's dedicated staff green our neighborhoods, create the environmental leaders of the future, promote waste prevention and recycling, and run the largest farmers market program in the country.

For more information on this event, call NYC's Department of Parks and Recreation at 212-360-1324 or contact NPCA's Northeast office at 212-617-2771.

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