Bonus #2: Hallet’s Sanctuary, Off-Limits Except a Few Times a Year
In 1934, NYC Parks Commissioner Robert Moses sealed off this natural woodland area, preserving it as a bird sanctuary. For decades, it served as a sort of experiment, showing the Parks Department what would happen to the land if they did nothing to maintain it. In 1986, it was renamed to commemorate George Harvey Hallett, Jr., a naturalist, birdwatcher, and civic leader. It remained untouched until 2001, when the Conservancy began to restore it, reintroducing native plants and weeding out invasive species.
n 2013, the Conservancy opened the Hallett Nature Sanctuary up to the public for the first time in 79 years, but only on certain days of the year. Today, the Conservancy constantly tends the plants, though they’re unsure of how many plant species thrive here. They’re working to increase the numbers of birds and butterflies too.