3. Greenacre Park in Midtown

Another vest pocket park of New York, Greenacre is perhaps best known for its 25-foot high waterfall, which provides the atmosphere of a dramatic oasis to visitors and drowns out the noise of the city. Located in Midtown, on East 51st between 2nd and 3rd Avenues, the small park opened in 1971 and was modeled after the nearby Paley Park (which also features a waterfall). It includes both a main square and an elevated patio-like area, both with views of the waterfall.

The park was recently under threat from the New York City Council’s recent rezoning decision to allow for construction of taller buildings, which would increase shadows cast over the park. The concern was mostly for the honey locust trees planted in the park, as they are extremely light-sensitive and would not thrive without adequate sunlight.

This resulted in the Greenacre Park’s “Fight for Light” campaign, which was unsuccessful in its goal to get official protection for the Park’s sunlight. However, the NYC Department of City Planning has agreed to meet with the Greenacre Foundation concerning shadow impact of the redevelopment.

Greenacre Park is open in the summer from 8AM-8PM, from 8AM-6PM during the rest of the year, and is always free to visit.