New York City's Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with more than 25 million visitors each year. Designed in 1857 by the man who would become America's most famous landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, and his partner, Calvert Vaux, Central Park was intended to provide New Yorkers with a serene and scenic 'rural' refuge from the noise and bustle of city life. Yet transforming the rocky, swampy park site into the rolling meadows, lush woodlands, and pristine lakes would prove an extremely time-consuming and labor-intensive endeavor. Thousands of workers drained marshes, blasted away boulders, and planted a quarter billion trees, flowers, and shrubs to create the 843-acre green oasis envisioned by Olmsted and Vaux in the heart of Manhattan.
Louise Chipley Slavicek received her master's degree in history from the University of Connecticut. She is the author of numerous periodical articles on historical topics and more than 20 other books for young people, including Israel and The Great Wall of China, both for Chelsea House, and Women of the American Revolution. She lives in Ohio.