Perennial Park at the Battery, New York City, Designed by Piet Oudolf

April 4, 2010


The Battery

The Battery is one of New York City’s oldest public open spaces. Located at the tip of Manhattan overlooking New York Harbor, the Battery hosted Dutch settlers when they came to Manhattan Island and established New Amsterdam. Now the Battery is truly the cradle of New York history, the front lawn of the Downtown district, and a hub of harbor access and cultural tourism. Over four million people, including residents, office workers, school groups, and tourists from around the world annually visit the park and its major landmark, Castle Clinton National Monument.

Encompassing 25 acres of waterfront parkland, the Battery is the largest public open space Downtown. Over 280,000 people work within walking distance of the Battery, and over 50,000 residents live in the surrounding area. The Battery has the potential to serve as a major neighborhood amenity, with expansive lawns, overarching shade trees, vast perennial gardens, waterfront promenades, and cultural programs including summertime open–air concerts.
Virginia Bluebells, Courtesy of The Battery Conservacy

Mertensia virginica, Virginia Bluebells, Courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

As the first step in revitalizing the neglected landscape of the park, the Battery Conservancy recruited world renowned Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf to develop a horticultural master plan for the Battery. The 10,000 square feet of the Gardens of Remembrance are the first phase of Oudolf’s horticultural master plan. The plan combines 114 varieties of hybrid perennials and native plants, offering stunning beauty through all four seasons, while contributing to the sustainability of the park’s landscape and greatly increasing the efficiency of the Conservancy’s maintenance operations.

View plant database:

The Battery Conservancy

The Battery Conservancy was created in 1994 as a 501(c)(3) not–for–profit educational corporation to rebuild and revitalize the Battery and Castle Clinton National Monument, the park’s major landmark. The Conservancy spearheads the improvement efforts in partnership on City, State and Federal Levels, and with its private donors.

The Conservancy plays a pivotal role in the future of the Battery, Lower Manhattan, the waterfront, and the quality of community life for residents, workers and visitors of Downtown. New York City owns and maintains the Battery through the Department of Parks & Recreation; the U.S. government owns and maintains Castle Clinton through the National Park Service; and both are major sites in New York State’s Harbor Heritage Area. Warrie Price, founder of the Conservancy, serves as Battery Conservancy President, and as the City’s Battery Administrator and the State’s Harbor Park Director.

The Battery remains one of the oldest public open spaces in continuous use in New York City. American Indians fished from its banks, and the first Dutch settlers built a low, stone wall with cannons, a battery to protect the harbor and New Amsterdam. The transformations of the Battery and that of the Castle tell the history of New York and, by association, the growth and development of our nation.

The information and pictures are courtesy of The Battery Conservancy.


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