Plants of the Pine Barrens
The park’s gardens this summer will be transport you to the Pine Barrens, a unique regional ecosystem found in New York and New Jersey. Prior to urbanization, Madison Square Park once had similar plant communities to those of the Pine Barrens––swamps, forests, and savanas once covered Manhattan before the formation of the city grid.
Urban areas are often replanted with exotic plants from Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The bugs, birds, and other wildlife that depended on native plants are declining as their food and habitat no longer support them. By using native plants as ornamentals, we can create beautiful landscapes that support wildlife. It is time for American gardens to return to their roots and embrace the beauty of our natural heritage.
Located around The Fountain and Reflecting Pool, visitors can learn more about our unique regional ecosystems, threats to our green spaces, and have the opportunity to see plants absent from the landscape for hundreds of years.