Daniel Atha and Regina Alvarez
The New York Botanical Garden is collaborating with the Central Park Conservancy and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to document the wild flora of Central Park. The goal of the project is to provide an up-to-date botanical inventory to aid on-going restoration, conservation, education and recreation programs and to document the flora for scientific, ecological and conservation studies.
Activities include the collection of herbarium specimens, data analysis and public outreach.
Outcomes include the following:
- A complete inventory of the park, peer-reviewed and published ten years after the previous study
- Rapid response to threats from emerging invasive plant species
- Original content for Central Park plant apps
- Training opportunities for interns, park staff, technicians and citizen-scientists
- Teaching opportunities for educators at all levels
- A website with photographs, maps, voucher specimens and collection details
- A permanently archived set of voucher specimens documenting the flora
- A complete DNA library of all documented species
The Central Park Conservancy is gratefully acknowledged for their generous financial and technical support.
The Central Park Flora Project recognizes thirty-six zones within the park. Each point on the collection map indicates where a species was collected, not necessarily all the places that species occurs in the Park.
Central Park is located on the Island of Manhattan (New York County) in southeast New York State. The Park’s 843 acres occupy 5.8 percent of the island.
The Project has documented 452 species of flowering plants growing wild in Central Park (as of October 2016).