Parks Without Borders on the 77th Street Lawn

Visitors sit on the lawn in Roosevelt Park at 77th St
Parks Without Borders on the 77th Street lawn – so far so good!

Park visitors can now enter two of Roosevelt Park’s previously closed lawns: one on the southwest side (77th Street and Columbus Avenue), and the other on the northwest side (81st and Columbus). The lawns are open to passive recreation only, so you won’t be able to play sports in these areas, but you can sit right on the grass! Dogs are also not allowed on these lawns, but they are welcome in the Bull Moose Dog Run.

The Parks Without Borders sections are currently open in good weather only, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., from June through September.

Take a seat on the lawn!

Hosta in late spring

Hosta Blooming at the Bull Moose Dog Run

Hosta in Roosevelt Park

Hosta is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It’s a shade-loving, rhizomatous, clump-forming, herbaceous perennial, with lush, sensuous foliage. Hosta varies in size from dwarfs, which are inches tall, to giants of five feet. Leaves come in a variety of colors, shapes and textures: blue-green, dark green, chartreuse, bronze, red, variegated, crinkled, smooth, wavy, concave, oval, round, heart-shaped, elongated, narrow, and twisted.

New York City is ideal for Hosta plants

With a relatively cool climate, and sun that isn’t too strong, New York City is a great place for Hosta plants. In Roosevelt Park, sweeps of magnificent hosta grow luxuriantly in front of the Bull Moose dog run.

The origins of Roosevelt Park’s Hosta plants

We planted Hosta in the park in 2014, and they are now mature, rich in color and large.  Hosta bloom in late spring, so June is a great time to visit the park and see them.

Earth Day

Earth Day

Roosevelt Park Trees and Flowers

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. Conceived by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day was intended to increase awareness of threats to the environment.

Roosevelt Park NYC bare dirtTwenty years after the first Earth Day, The Friends of Roosevelt Park were a newly formed group, dedicated to the restoration of Roosevelt Park. The park had been neglected, resulting in stretches of bare dirt broken interspersed with dead plants. It was a stressed environment.

Today, Earth Day has become an international observance, and Roosevelt Park has been restored to a welcoming slice of nature in the city. Its 10 acres are filled with trees, grass, and flowers. This Earth Day, come sit on one of our benches and celebrate how far the park has come!

Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug

Nobel monument in Roosevelt ParkNorman E. Borlaug was born on March 25th, 1914, in Cresco, Iowa, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970. His name appears on the Nobel monument in Roosevelt Park, which lists all of the American recipients of the Nobel Prize. The monument is located near the park’s Columbus Avenue entrance.

The Green Revolution

Norman Borlaug was referred to as “The Father of the Green Revolution.” Borlaug was a geneticist and plant pathologist who found a high-yielding short-strawed, disease-resistant wheat. He then arranged to put the new cereal strains he had found into production to feed the world’s hungry people, thereby reducing some of the environmental and social problems that cause international conflicts. His efforts improved wheat yields in Mexico, India, Pakistan, Latin America, the Near and Middle East, and in Africa.

Dr. Borlaug then became director of the International Wheat Improvement Programat the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), an international research training institute created by the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations in cooperation with the Mexican government. Here he trained scientists from a variety of countries in research and production methods.

Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Borlaug’s received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for contributing to world peace by increasing the food supply, particularly due to his work in eliminating food shortages in India and Pakistan. In 1997, in an Atlantic article called “Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity,” author Gregg Easterbrook, estimated that Borlaug’s work had prevented a billion deaths. Dr. Borlaug was 95 years old when he died, on September 12, 2009.


Bamboo screen in Roosevelt Park

Is bamboo a grass?

Bamboo is a fast-growing giant grass that is native to southeastern Asia.  Its beautiful bright green delicate leaves cascade over slender branches, and it comes in cane colors of green, purple, olive-green, blue-gray, golden yellow, and black. Although most bamboo grows in tropical or subtropical regions, the species that grows in Roosevelt Park is hardy and tolerates subzero weather.

The music of bamboo

As the wind rustles bamboo leaves, it makes a sound that some people find conducive to meditation. The presence of this beautiful evergreen flowering perennial provides one more reason to relax in Theodore Roosevelt Park.

Where can you find bamboo in Theodore Roosevelt Park?

We have an attractive bamboo privacy screen near the Museum of Natural History’s west entrance at Columbus Avenue and West 79th Street.

Dickinson W. Richards

Dickinson Richards on Nobel MonumentNobel Laureate Dickinson Woodruff Richards

Dickinson W. Richards was born on this day in 1895. He is one of the Nobel Prize winners honored on the Nobel monument in Roosevelt Park.

Time in Manhattan

Richards attended medical school at Columbia University in the early 1920s, and became a doctor in 1923. He later worked at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and Columbia University.

We like to think he may have taken walks in Roosevelt Park, which was called Museum Park at that time.

Nobel Prize for Medicine

In 1956, Dickinson W. Richards shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with André Frédéric Cournand and Werner Forssmann. Their prize was for the development of a cardiac catheterization technique and research into a variety of cardiac conditions.

Sedum on Central Park West

We have planted sedum in the gardens near Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

Flowers from fall to winter

Sedum plants have massive heads of clustered pink flowers that later turn mauve. They will last well into the winter months.  This plant grows the best in full sun, and looks the best when planted in masses.

Sedum is tough and adaptable; thick, sturdy stems will support flower heads, even when covered in several inches of snow.  The plant is fairly maintenance free, slow to spread, and extremely drought tolerant.

Butterflies in Roosevelt Park

Sedum attracts butterflies – just one more reason we choose to plant it!


Nobel Laureate William Faulkner

faulkner-nobel-monumentWilliam Faulkner was born on September 25, 1897, and he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1949. Faulkner’s name appears on the Nobel Monument in Roosevelt Park.

Faulkner was born in Mississippi, and he joined the RAF during World War 1. He later studied at the University of Mississippi, where he published work in the student newspaper. He dropped out before earning a degree.


Time in New York City

Faulkner moved to New York City in 1921, and he worked in a bookstore. If he ever visited the Museum of Natural History, he would have walked through the park that eventually became Theodore Roosevelt Park. Faulkner returned to Mississippi in 1922.