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Jennette Mullaney
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Photo by Timothy Schenck"Head to the ground" is a compliment in gardening, indicating a serious commitment to work. Maeve demonstrates the pose in this candid shot as she tends to the 23rd Street Lawn. Photo by Timothy Schenck

This week we say farewell to Senior Gardener Maeve Turner. After nearly five years at Friends of the High Line, Maeve is leaving our organization to become the Curator of the Herb Garden at Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. She describes the new role as her "other dream job," and we're thrilled that she's moving on to such an incredible position.

But we're so sad to see her go. Maeve began working at the High Line in June of 2009, just one week after the park first opened to the public, and her footprint on our gardens is indelible. Although it would be impossible to sum up Maeve's time here in one mere blog post – not to mention her achievements – we've shared a few highlights and cherished memories below.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Liz LigonNew York City Department of Parks and Recreation Borough Commissioner Bill Castro shears a tall patch of grass to cheers from Executive Director Jenny Gersten, Borough President Gale Brewer, and volunteers. The Borough Commissioner and Borough President stopped by on Wednesday to mark the official end of this year's Spring Cutback. Photo by Liz Ligon

We've reached the official end of Spring Cutback 2014! After four weeks of hard work by staff and volunteers, this massive horticultural endeavor is complete.

We were concerned about the lasting effects of this frigid and tenacious winter on the High Line's landscape. However, there is at least one advantage of a tardy spring. "Delays in spring weather mean that we can witness the bulbs break ground," said Senior Gardener Maeve Turner. Unlike previous years, when new growth would lie hidden beneath the yet-to-be-cut dried grasses and shrubs, this spring's belated blooms will emerge in our neatly trimmed beds.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Mike TschappatOn Monday, more than 20 volunteers came out to help the High Line Gardeners tackle the densely planted Chelsea Grasslands. Photo by Mike Tschappat
 

We're approaching the end of Spring Cutback, an annual endeavor to trim back more than 100,000 plants along the High Line to make room for new growth. This week staff and volunteers began to tackle several densely planted areas, including the Chelsea Grasslands, which stretch from West 17th Street through West 20th Street.

See more photos from the third week of Spring Cutback below.

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Jennette Mullaney
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Photo by Timothy SchenckWhether semi- or fully nude, Pan delighted visitors from all over the world during his time on the High Line. Photo by Timothy Schenck
 

Pan, a mischievous-looking satyr, has been charming visitors from his perch at Gansevoort Street for nearly a year. Created by artist Sean Landers, the sculpture is part of Busted, a High Line Art group exhibition.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Friends of the High LineDespite the steely gray sky, we relished the opportunity to get our (gloved) hands dirty during Wednesday's all-staff Spring Cutback.

We’ve completed our second week of Spring Cutback, reaching the halfway point in our effort to shear back more than 100,000 plants along the High Line. As we trim the dried shrubs and grasses of our winter garden, we make room for the green growth of spring.

See more photos from this past week below.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Liz LigonThe sight of all these bright green buckets dotting our planting beds means winter is on its way out. Photo by Liz Ligon

On Monday we began to trim back the dried grasses and striking seed heads that added beauty and texture to our gardens this long winter. This annual horticultural endeavor, called Spring Cutback, takes four weeks and involves our entire staff, as well as hundreds of volunteers. It's hard work, but there's no better way to greet spring than plant-by-plant on a park in the sky, New York City humming in the background.

See more photos from the first week of 2014 Spring Cutback below.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney
Photo by Barry MungerDo your worst, weather forecast. These petite blooms are a sure sign that spring is near. Photo by Barry Munger
 

After enduring months of bitter cold and snow, we're delighted by any sign of spring. But of all the pretty plants that herald winter's end, the crocus is our favorite. The prolific member of the Iris family grows throughout the High Line, so you're more likely to come across a crocus in our park this spring than you are a daffodil or snowdrop. And we're utterly charmed by these bold little flowers that bloom while snowstorms loom in the forecast ; they seem to leap out of the earth ready to declare that spring has finally, truly arrived.

EnlargePhoto by Mike Tschappat

It's time that these pint-sized plants received an outsize welcome. We'll be sharing crocus images on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram using the dramatic hashtag #CrocusWatch2014, and we've even created a Pinterest board devoted to these lovely blooms. Whether you spot a crocus on the High Line or in your own backyard, we invite you to join the fun and use #CrocusWatch2014 when sharing your pictures.

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Jennette Mullaney
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Photo by Gulnara SamoilovaLia and Michael De Feo radiate joy on their wedding day. Photo by Gulnara Samoilova

The High Line plays host to all kinds of romantic moments – engagements, first dates, weddings, even more engagements – and it's easy to become desensitized to the tales of love blossoming in our park in the sky. But the story of Michael and Lia De Feo has managed to charm even our most jaded coworkers. (Admittedly, we're a pretty mushy bunch.)

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Jennette Mullaney
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Photo by Liz LigonOur new Executive Director, Jenny Gersten, grew up minutes from the High Line – her childhood apartment building is visible in the background of this picture. Photo by Liz Ligon

Although it's been only a few weeks since Jenny Gersten joined Friends of the High Line as our new Executive Director, we feel like this dynamic New York City native is already part of the family.

Jenny grew up in Greenwich Village, just minutes from the structure we now know as the High Line. But the High Line of her childhood was not yet a park in the sky with kids programs, blooming flowers, and mouthwatering ice-cream sandwiches. We sat down with the former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Theatre to learn more about her vision for our growing organization.

Author: 
Jennette Mullaney

Thank you for making 2013 an incredible year for the High Line.

We've gathered together some of our favorite images and stories from this extraordinary year. We hope you enjoy them. From all of us at Friends of the High Line, we wish you the very best in 2014.

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