Deteriorating Green Space in Popular Upper East Side Park Set to Get Big Upgrade

Before and after of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park
Before and after of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park/Council Member Julie Menin's Office

MANHATTAN – Big upgrades are coming to a popular, but deteriorating Upper East Side park nestled against the East River. No, not Carl Schurz Park— we’re talking about Andrew Haswell Green Park. NYC Parks is making a commitment to install infrastructure upgrades this Spring to make sure the precious green space actually stays green.

“It’s not only important to have open space, but to have it maintained well in order for us,” said Council Member Julie Menin, who urged NYC Parks to make the improvements, in an announcement Friday morning.

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“The district already has so little open space, and this is a win for the thousands of New Yorkers who utilize Andrew Haswell Green Park.”

Current condition of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park
Current condition of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park/Council Member Julie Menin’s Office

The problems being tackled at the park are two-fold, according to Menin, the rapid deterioration of the large lawn located under the big red pavilion inside the park— located East of the FDR Drive between East 60th to 63rd Streets— and ongoing drainage issues in the dog run at the north end of the park that force dog owners to bring their pets to the lawn.

Friends of the East River Esplanade, a non-profit advocacy group, says a fix to the issues are a long time coming.

“In the past few years, the conditions of the lawn at the Aycock Pavilion have unfortunately deteriorated,” said Esplanade Friends Board Chair Jennifer Ratner, “and now requires proper re-sodding and irrigation hookups.”

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NYC parks has agreed to put down new grass on the large lawn this spring, as well as install a sprinkler system to keep the grass watered all year round. 

Original condition of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park
Original condition of lawn under Aycock Pavilion at Andrew Haswell Green Park/Council Member Julie Menin’s Office

Parks will also be resurfacing the dog run with asphalt and connecting it to a sewer system so flooding will no longer be an issue.

“We thank Council Member Julie Menin for her advocacy,” said NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner Bill Castro.

“Spring is just around the corner and we will be welcoming everyone back to this picturesque spot in the neighborhood,” he added. 

To prevent another deterioration of the green space, Friends of the East River Esplanade is partnering with NYC Parks on the upkeep of the lawn once the those planned improvements are complete. 

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