LOCAL PROFILES: Warrie Price (Battery Conservancy) (8.21.17)
Remember the other week when we shared with you all about the Battery Urban Farm? Did you know it’s actually a part of Battery Conservancy? The Battery Conservancy is the 501 (c) (3) non-profit partner of the City of New York Department of Parks & Recreation. We are responsible for transforming, maintaining, operating and programming The Battery, the 25 acres of public parkland at the southern tip of Manhattan.
We spoke with Warrie Price, the Founder and President of Battery Conservancy, to learn more...
The us about the The Battery Conservancy!
The Battery is New York's "birthplace park". Over the millennia, it has welcomed Native Americans to fish from its shores, explorers and settlers, traders, immigrants, and tourists. Now a New York City public park, it includes the federally owned and operated Castle Clinton National Monument which houses ticketing to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island, along with the unique SeaGlass Carousel and the largest public perennial garden in North America that are free and open to the public every day of the year.
What's new at The Battery we should know about?
The Battery is a microcosm of its host city - packing an amazing diversity of experiences into a very compact space. With its access to the Statue of Liberty and the presence of Castle Clinton National Monument, The Battery is as much a destination with national and international appeal as it is a local park serving Lower Manhattan's commercial and residential neighbors.
Last spring, The Battery opened a 90,000-square-foot, natural, toxin-free Oval lawn in front of Castle Clinton for the public to use and enjoy. This spring, additional construction fences came down to reveal the final portion of The Battery Bikeway that links the east side to the west side of Manhattan. This scenic additional stuns commuting and leisure cyclist with gorgeous gardens that say "slow down" in the friendliest way.
Tell us about the carousel? How did that come to be?
SeaGlass Carousel is a real landmark and destination for visitors and residents alike. During the design phase of the park's interior, The Battery Conservancy wanted to reflect its rich history and create a light source in a previously darkened landscape.
The Battery was the first home of the New York Aquarium in 1896 welcoming 2.5 million visitors annually until it closed in 1941.
Through the genius of WXY Architecture and the renowned George Tsypin Opera Factory, they created a mystical underwater experience with 30 grand luminescent fish within a monumental nautilus shell of steel and glass. Riders sit within iridescent fish that glide through the sights and sounds of a 360-degree aquatic adventure. George Tsypin didn't want children to just ride fish, he wanted them to become fish.
What's the latest we should check out in the park?
Check out summer programs at Battery Urban Farm , an educational farm where New York City’s students, residents, and visitors learn about sustainable farming techniques, the joys of tasting new foods, and their role as environmental stewards. The farm was started in 2011 by The Battery Conservancy in partnership with the Environmental Club at Millennium High School. Since then we’ve had thousands of students help us grow thousands of pounds of vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains, and flowers. Visit on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 am for Storytime with your family, or join us with your school group on a field trip!
What are the future plans for The Battery Conservancy?
As we look to the future, we are focused on the development of a new and expanded playground on the eastern side of the park next to the SeaGlass Carousel. The new design triples the size of the playground from 21,000 to 65,000sf making it one of the largest playgrounds south of 42nd street. It will feature innovative water management, increased green space, and imaginative play experiences. The Playscape is scheduled to open in 2020! The Battery Conservancy depends on private donations for the development of its projects and all its operation. Please help make the Playscape a reality and donate at www.thebattery.org/support.
Any free events locals should know about?
-Twice a week Tejal Yoga teaches yoga classes on the newly reopened Woodland lawn (Wednesdays 6:30-7:30 and Sundays 11:30-12:30)
-Storytime and family activities happen on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 in the Woodland behind Battery Urban Farm
-Learn about our park's rich history and vast perennial gardens on a weekly Battery Tour Thursdays at 1:00pm
The Battery is also a wonderful place to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and family parties at SeaGlass Carousel’s new terraces. Learn about our party packages at www.seaglasscarousel.nyc/birthdays.