Strawberry Fields

Location and Map

West Side between 71st and 74th Streets

Description

Designed by landscape architect Bruce Kelly (1948-1993), one of the principal members of the Central Park Conservancy’s management and restoration planning team, Strawberry Fields was named in 1981 by a New York City Council law introduced by Councilmember Henry J. Stern and signed by Mayor Edward I. Koch. It is named after the song Strawberry Fields Forever in honor of John Lennon (1940-1980), the musician and member of the internationally famous Beatles. His widow, the artist and performer Yoko Ono, later donated $1 million to the Central Park Conservancy to relandscape and to maintain the 2.5-acre tear-drop-shaped parcel of park landscape.

Shaded by a grove of stately American elms, the black-and-white mosaic set in the pathway near its west entrance is a reproduction of a mosaic from Pompeii; it was fashioned by Italian craftsmen and was a gift from Naples, Italy. Its single word IMAGINE, the title of a popular Lennon song, is the only specific tribute to the musician within the beautifully maintained yet naturalistic,
free-flowing park landscape.

Take a stroll down the hill past a bronze plaque that lists the 121 countries endorsing Strawberry Fields as a Garden of Peace.

The path is a loop that brings you back to the mosaic past one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Park. At the bottom of the hill, note the six white pines – the largest of this species in the Park – that mark the end of the west drive. After completing the loop, walk out onto the upper meadow, an undulating lawn popular with picnickers. At the northernmost point of the meadow are three bald cypresses.

The slope behind the memorial is called Rose Hill for the rambling roses in the clefts of the bedrock. The eastern slope is a woodland popular with bird watchers. In its center is the woodland wildflower meadow filled with ostrich and Christmas ferns and Virginia bluebells.

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