[UPDATE:See photos from inside the revitalized sanctuary here.]
Did you know that there are four acres of Central Park that have been closed off since the 1930s? While the Central Park Conservancy has given the park a remarkable new life since the 1980s, they haven't quite gotten to everything, but now they've announced a "new" (to you) section is ready for humans: the Hallett Nature Sanctuary (née Promontory) will open this summer.
Aside from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, the Sanctuary—located by the Pond—is the only permanently fenced-off section of the park. “The story is, [then Parks Commissioner] Robert Moses closed it off because he wanted it to turn into a bird sanctuary,” said the CPC's Douglas Blonsky.
According to the NY Times, the section will now open during certain hours, all thanks to the CPC's $40 million Woodland's Initiative, which is aimed at revitalizing lesser known areas of the 843-acre park. The CPC notes on their website that "the Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a perfect example of how even the wildest, most naturalistic habitats in Central Park require constant planning and care in order to thrive."
Neglected for decades, invasive plants had taken over the area, but now some weeding has tamed the landscape, a new rustic gate (like those original rustic benches) has been put in place, and new paths have been cleared. An irrigation system has also been set up to help with regular watering.
The Sanctuary is located at on the East Side, from 60th-62nd Streets, just south of Wollman Rink. You can find the hours here.