High Line Blog

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Author: 
Erika Harvey
Pat Jonas is one of the High Line’s most dedicated volunteers. Seen here helping with mulching near West 26th Street earlier this year, Pat has worked closely with our horticulture staff and is returning to help out with her second season of Spring Cutback.
 

Spring Cutback is a monumental task – one that took us 1,200 hours to complete last year. This year, we have twice as much work to do. The High Line doubled in length when the new section opened last June, giving us one mile of parkland with more than 100,000 plants to prepare for spring this year.

The High Line's unique design, with gravel mulch and railroad tracks running through the planting beds, makes it impossible to use power equipment to cut back the plants. It is for this reason that Spring Cutback is an all-hands-on-deck scenario, requiring the hard work and dedication of our entire staff and many volunteers over the course of six weeks.

Today we get to know one of our most dedicated volunteers, Pat Jonas, who has been working side-by-side with our gardeners on various projects for more than a year, and joins us again this season to lend a hand with Spring Cutback.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Dawn bodnant viburnum has bright pink flowers that are at their peak this time of year.
 

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that took root on the elevated rail tracks after the trains stopped running. The High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share with you two of our Gardeners’ current favorites.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Sarah Sze’s complex architectural sculpture rises up on either side of the pathway, forming a gateway that visitors can pass through. Photo by Iwan Baan
 

This week, the US Art Critics Association (AICA-USA) announced its annual awards recognizing artists, curators, museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions for their work in the past year.

Topping the list in the category of “Best Project in a Public Space” was Sarah Sze for her High Line Art installation, Still Life with Landscape (Model for a Habitat).

Author: 
Erika Harvey
An aerial photo of our staff and volunteers hard at work between West 18th Street and West 20th Street. Photo by Rick Darke
 

We have just completed our second week of High Line Spring Cutback.

Spring Cutback is an intense six week-long process in which we cut back the High Line’s wild grasses, perennials, and shrubs to make way for new spring growth. It’s our biggest horticultural task of the year and High Line Gardeners couldn’t do it without the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Stop by the park and see the transformation underway as spring bulbs and new green growth pop up, and follow us after the jump for an update on this week’s work.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The High Line Flickr Pool is an great resource for beautiful photographs of the park. One of these images, taken by five contributors to the Flickr Pool, will be selected as the next High Line Print.
 

With more than 1,500 contributors, the High Line Flickr Pool gathers some of the best photographs of the park. The images are displayed in a rotating gallery on our Web site, giving High Line fans from afar, and those New Yorkers stuck in the office a great way to keep track of park life.

This year we are expanding our merchandise program, and among the new offerings will be frame-worthy prints of the High Line. When looking for photographs to be featured as prints, of course we knew where to go.

We’ve selected five of our favorite horticulture images from the Flickr Pool, and we need your help picking one of them to reproduce as a High Line Print.

Follow us after the jump to see the full-size images and vote for your favorite.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
The rail yards section will extend the High Line’s distinctive design vocabulary established south of West 30th Street, evoking the High Line’s history as an active freight rail line, and the unique self-seeded landscape that grew up between the tracks when the trains stopped running in the 1980s.
 

Last night we unveiled the initial design concepts for the rail yards section of the High Line at a community input meeting at Public School 11 in Chelsea.

More than 400 neighbors, supporters, members, and friends turned out to listen to James Corner and Ric Scofidio, of the High Line Design Team, present their concepts, share their feedback, and ask questions.

The never-before-seen images represent the first vision for the High Line’s unique landscape at the rail yards, which is still overgrown with wildflowers and grasses that grew up between the tracks when the trains stopped running in the 1980s.

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

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Volunteers and High Line Gardeners gather tools and supplies at the end of a chilly Spring Cutback shift on Tuesday, March 6. Photo by Liz Ligon.
 

We have just completed week one of High Line Spring Cutback!

Spring Cutback is an intense six week-long process in which we cut back the High Line’s wild grasses, perennials, and shrubs to make way for new spring growth. It’s our biggest task of the year and High Line Gardeners couldn’t do it without the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Stop by the park and see the transformation underway as spring bulbs and new green growth pop up.

Follow us after the jump for an update and photos from our first week.

Author: 
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.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
Jet Trail flowering quince is known for its abundant white blooms that cover the shrub in early spring. Photo by High Line Volunteer Lebasi Lashley.
 

The High Line’s planting design is inspired by the self-seeded landscape that took root on the elevated rail tracks after the trains stopped running. The High Line includes more than 300 species of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees — chosen for their hardiness, adaptability, diversity, and seasonal variation in color and texture. Some of the species that originally grew on the High Line’s rail bed are reflected in the park landscape today.

This week we share with you one of our Gardeners’ current favorites.

Author: 
Erika Harvey
High Line Gardener John Gunderson advises Spring Cutback volunteers on the proper technique for cutting back the grasses during a volunteer orientation session on February 15.
 

In just a few days, we will begin what has become one of our favorite traditions since the High Line opened as a public park. Spring Cutback – it’s a six-week operation that involves hundreds of hours of hard work to trim back the park’s 100,000 plants to make way for the new growing season.

Spring Cutback is the biggest horticultural undertaking of the year – one that took us more than 1,200 hours to complete last year. With the recent opening of the new section of the High Line, this will be the first spring where we have one mile of parkland to prepare for spring. We can’t do it alone, so we have recruited more than 300 members, supporters, neighbors, and friends from our community to help us complete this monumental task.

The volunteers recently completed their orientation session, where they were introduced to the unique challenges of maintaining a park in the sky. Follow us after the jump for a recap.

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