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Amelia Krales
Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff worked tirelessly early this week to remove snow from the park entrance at West 14th Street. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This winter has had its share of snow, and it looks like we may be seeing more before spring's arrival. After a storm, staff and volunteers arrive early to clear paths so visitors can safely enjoy a stroll through the magical winter scenery. (Learn more about how you can help us remove snow.)

We use several different methods for snow removal. The tools in our arsenal include power brooms, snow-throwers and – of course – old-fashioned shovels, however, we avoid utilizing rock salt and chemical ice-melt because of the damage these products cause to our plants.

We're incredibly grateful to the staff and volunteers who remove dangerous ice and snow from our park. Clearing the stairs is a particularly time-consuming task, as the steps are shoveled completely by hand. And keeping the walkways free of ice is a particularly difficult job because the High Line is exposed, much like a bridge, making surface temperatures drop quickly.

The safety of our visitors is our top priority. We block off sections of walkway that have become slippery, and – as a last resort – close areas of the park when walking has become dangerous. If you are ever wondering what conditions are like in the park, follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.

Photo by Timothy SchenckHigh Line staff member utilizes a power broom to push heavy, accumulated snow off the walkway near the 10th Avenue Square. Photo by Timothy Schenck

With wet snow, damage to the plants is a concern. Our gardeners work to minimize the negative impact that heavy snow and ice have on the trees, grasses, and perennials. To avoid breakage of woody plants, gardeners will gently shake trees or knock heavy snow off of tree limbs. Snow banks can flatten perennials, although "sleeping" perennials are actually protected by the insulation offered by snow cover. Overall, the plants on the High Line are hearty and can withstand tricky weather.

Photo by Timothy SchenckThe branches of the High Line's Eastern red cedar trees, Juniperus virginiana, bend under the weight of heavy snow. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Have an interest in being in the outdoors, meeting your neighbors, and having fun with park staff while getting a great workout? Come join us as a snow volunteer! Drop by after a winter storm or sign up to receive notifications when we put out a call for extra hands.

Kate Lindquist
Stop by the park next week for an evening stroll, and enjoy the views from the 26th Street Viewing Spur. Photo by Iwan Baan

It’s official: the High Line’s spring hours will begin on Monday, April 1.

Beginning on Monday, the park will be open daily, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Summer hours will begin on Saturday, June 1, with the park remaining open one hour later, until 11:00 PM.

Kate Lindquist
Chelsea GrasslandsThis photograph was taken the day after the hurricane, and shows how the High Line’s plantings escaped major damage. Photo by Melissa Mansur

This week, as many visitors came to the High Line to seek a respite from the storm flooding and power outages, we were often asked how the landscape managed to escape harm from Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent snow storm.

Given the magnitude of the hurricane, it was inevitable that the High Line would sustain some damage. Like many other buildings along Manhattan’s West Side, saltwater flooding during the storm surge damaged the park’s underground utility connections, but fortunately the vast majority of the High Line’s plantings are intact.

As you can see in the above photograph, which was taken the day after Hurricane Sandy, the High Line’s landscape is in great shape following the severe weather. With the exception of a handful of small, uprooted trees, all the along the park you see a thriving landscape with autumnal blooms, grasses gone to seed, and the last of the season’s fall foliage.

Follow us after the jump to learn more about the park’s landscape, and view more recent photos of the plantings.

Kate Lindquist
The High Line will reopen on Monday, November 5 and operate on a limited schedule until further notice. Photo by Melissa Mansur

We have wonderful news to share. After being closed for a week due to severe weather and flooding caused by Hurricane Sandy, the High Line will reopen on Monday, November 5, 2012.

We are relieved that the High Line's plantings, design features, and artworks are in great shape following the storm. However, due to significant damage to some of the park’s utility connections, the High Line will be operating on a temporary schedule. Until further notice, the park will be open daily between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and get important park updates.

Kate Lindquist
The High Line remains closed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

Today, many public parks in New York City are reopening after unprecedented closures following Hurricane Sandy. We are very eager to reopen the High Line, but there is important work we must first do to ensure it is safe and ready for visitors.

Follow us after the jump to learn more and view photos.

Kate Lindquist
EnlargePhoto by Timothy Schenck

The 23rd Street Lawn is a popular gathering space on the High Line, offering open green space for picnicking, sunbathing, and people-watching.

Kate Lindquist

Earlier this morning, a three-block portion of the High Line was temporarily closed to allow emergency responders to investigate a small construction accident at a nearby work site. The NYC Fire Department and NYC Department of Buildings have determined that the High Line sustained no damage and the elevated park itself is structurally sound. The City agencies have cleared the closed portion of the park to reopen to the public.

Erika Harvey
Ronnit Bendavid-Val brings over a decade of experience managing New York City parks to her new position at the High Line

The High Line is meant to look like a wild landscape, but it requires an extraordinary amount of work to maintain the plant life and keep the park clean and welcoming for its visitors.

With more than one mile of parkland, mechanical infrastructure, and unique operational challenges, it takes close coordination of a team of dedicated gardeners, custodians, technicians, and more to keep an elevated park like the High Line running smoothly. That’s why we are pleased to welcome Ronnit Bendavid-Val to our staff, as our new Vice President of Horticulture & Park Operations.

Ronnit brings over a decade of experience with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to her new position of overseeing our team of horticultural and maintenance staff.

Join us after the jump and get to know Ronnit.

Kate Lindquist
High Line Gardeners are busily working to cut back more than 100,000 plants by hand to prepare for new spring growth on the High Line. The process, called High Line Spring Cutback, began this week.

This week we begin High Line Spring Cutback – our biggest horticultural task of the year.

Visit the High Line over the next six weeks, and you’ll see High Line Gardeners busily working with teams of volunteers to cut back the High Line’s wild grasses, perennials, and shrubs to make way for new spring growth. With each cut they make, you will start to see new green shoots and early spring bulbs emerge.

This morning we invited volunteers, supporters, and local teens from the NYC Lab School for Collaborative Studies to take part in a ceremonial cutting to mark the launch. Follow us after the jump to learn more and view photos.

Kate Lindquist
Work is progressing at the site of the future High Line Headquarters. In the foreground, the formwork for the pile caps and grade beam are outlined in plywood. Crews will pour concrete into these forms; once the concrete dries, the plywood will be removed. Photo by Timothy Schenck

Stand on the High Line near its southern end, and look to the west toward the Hudson River. You will see a giant construction site covered with steel beams, plywood, backhoes, and other heavy duty equipment. It is all part of the ongoing work to build the new High Line Headquarters and Whitney Museum of American Art.

Follow us after the jump for a construction update and photos.


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