From 2003 until 2009, The Battery’s woodland was under construction as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) excavated and built a new South Ferry subway station complex. This excavation destroyed 80 mature trees and made much of the park unavailable to the public for more than six years. After the station opened, The Battery created The Battery Urban Farm to heal the gash in the heart of the park.
The Battery Conservancy created The Battery Urban Farm as a way to engage students, residents, and visitors in sustainable farming techniques, the joys of tasting new foods, and the value of urban farming in the evolving story of this historic public park.
In 2011, eight students from nearby Millennium High School approached The Battery Conservancy about planting a vegetable garden in the park. The Battery Conservancy expanded on this idea and created the one-acre Battery Urban Farm. In its first year, the farm had no dedicated budget and was staffed entirely by volunteers from across the country. The farm grew from those initial eight students to 870 students from Lower Manhattan schools within a year. Today, the farm annually welcomes nearly 5000 students from more than 100 schools throughout the five boroughs and beyond.
The Battery Urban Farm now includes a vegetable farm, forest farm, and oyster restoration stations. Through hands-on lessons, students enhance their “taste literacy” and learn all the tasks required to grow more than 100 varieties of vegetables in production-style rows. In the forest farm’s exploratory ecosystem, students learn about native plants, pollinators, animals, and insects while they think about what Manhattan may have looked like before it was a big city. Water ecology is the focus for students who help track and care for the three oyster restoration stations located off The Battery’s waterfront promenade.
Farm Design: The Battery Conservancy
Together with the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation, The Battery Conservancy transformed half the acreage of the park, creating The Battery Oval, Bikeway, and Woodland.Learn More
Peter Minuit Plaza is New York City’s busiest intermodal transportation hub. Following nearly two decades of effort to transform a forlorn street plaza of broken concrete into a bustling square, the plaza opened to the public in 2011.Learn More
The Battery Conservancy and design team of WXY architecture + urban design conceived and led the development of SeaGlass Carousel to provide children and adults a virtual underwater experience.Learn More
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