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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns which are in the process of spring reseeding. While the grass is establishing now, visitors should expect the majority of lawns to be ready for use in late May.  Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 5 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

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Swamp white oak

Swamp white oak

Quercus bicolor
Swamp White Oak

The park’s Swamp white oaks are durable trees with attractive bark.  They are frequently planted across the country as shade trees for lawns, golf courses, and parks. Their two-toned leaves are deep green on the top and silvery white underneath. When the rustle in the wind, the dual-colored leaves create a glittering effect against the sky. In fall, the white oaks’s foliage turns to fiery shades of orange and yellow. 

Apart from their beauty, they provide an important food source for wildlife, including 521 species of caterpillar and 14 species of bird. And as with other oak trees, the Swamp white oak’s acorns are gathered greedily by the park’s squirrels before winter. 

Native to the eastern and central regions of the United States, they are usually found by streams, lakes, and valleys. Unlike their relatives White oaks and Burr oaks, which grow in groups, Swamp white oaks grow alone, fulfilling a similar niche to Pin oaks. But while Pin oaks rarely live to be over 100, Swamp white oaks can live to be over 300 years old.

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Abigail Deville: Light of Freedom
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