The 1.6-hectare Hallett Nature Sanctuary is one of three areas of
woodland in Central Park, the huge expanse of nature in the Big Apple
visited each year by an astonishing 43 million people.
The little sanctuary is hidden away at the southeastern end of the park,
just meters from bustling designer boutiques and luxury high-rise
apartment blocks. For decades it was fenced off and allowed to overrun.
"It was closed by the park commissioner Robert Moses in the ’30s and
Robert Moses thought it would become a bird sanctuary," said Doug
Blonsky, president and CEO of the Central Park Conservancy, a non-profit
organization that raises 75 percent of the park’s annual budget.
There are around 270 species of bird in Central Park. You can see many
of them in the Hallett sanctuary, along with squirrels, racoons, ducks
and birds pecking at puddles on the rocks. There is even a woodchuck
which Blonsky says "is very unusual."