In the 1850’s, Frederick Law Olmsted, William Cullen Bryant, and other visionaries looked into the future of an ever-expanding New York City and recognized the need to set aside a large area in the middle of Manhattan Island that would, forever, remain available for recreation, fresh air and personal recharge.
Holiday Woodlands Preserve is a similar undertaking, to be preserved as a green
“island” in the midst of numerous subdivisions along the Five Mile Road corridor.
Looking long term, many of the now-vacant parcels there all will be built with
houses, stores, and offices.
Now, of course, it would not be quite the same as Central Park in NY, for
-There would be no horse-drawn carriages, but there would be bikes.
-There would be no Great Meadow, but there would be a small one to fly kites.
-No zoo…but, deer and fox and birds (and an occasional bear), oh my!
-No skating rink or reservoir…but, a wetland of plants, animals, an opportunity
-No symphony hall…but birdsong, chipmunk chatter, and rustling leaves.
-No art museum…but beautiful vistas of sunsets over East Bay, fern carpet,
and golden aspen leaves in Autumn.
– It would not even be a park at all in the customary sense, as there would be no
ball fields, or playgrounds, or beach…but there would be trails and passive recreation
and perhaps, solitude.
-Finally, while not exactly on 5th Avenue…it is close to Five Mile Road…
The Preserve would, forever, be a place to go for a walk, take the dog for a run,
or just get away for a few minutes – all within walking distance close to home.
Written by Paul Sabrosky, Conservation Land Planner