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The Central Park Reservoir

Central Park park boasts of several amenities and attractions and among these is the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. It is a decommissioned reservoir located in Central Park between 85th and 96th St. It was officially named as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in 1994.

It covers 106 acres, is 40 feet deep and holds approximately 1,000,000,000 US gallons of water. This aspect, therefore, makes it an unmistakable feature of the park. The Reservoir is one of the most picturesque and grandiose landscapes and adds to the uniqueness of the Central Park.

The Reservoir was constructed in 1862, and it was meant to be a temporary water supply for New York City. Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux had incorporated it in their design for Central Park. It was used when the Croton water system was shut down for two weeks each year for maintenance. Today, however, the reservoir is not used for supplying water to New York City, but it does provide water to some parts of the park including the Pool and the Harlem Meer. The Reservoir was deemed obsolete because there was a new main situated under 79th Street that connected with the Third Water Tunnel. The change of name to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was so as to commemorate her contributions to New York City and also because she enjoyed jogging in that area of the park.

The Reservoir Central Park

The stand out feature of the Reservoir is the jogging track surrounding it. The track is approximately 1.58 miles and provides a good environment for people to jog. President Clinton and Jacky Kennedy are just some of the influential people that have run along this track. Frequent use of this track has resulted to structural damages to it, and the last renovations were done in 1999. The Central Park Conservancy however carried out renovations to it so as fix and improve this iconic track. There was an unsightly fence surrounding the reservoir that obscured the view, but this was brought down and replaced with a steel fence with cast-iron ornamentation that has opened up the breathtaking views that visitors currently enjoy. The track was recently dedicated to Alberto Arroyo. He was the Unofficial Mayor of Central Park but, however, died at the age of 94 in 2010.

The Reservoir is also an ecological sanctuary, and though it was not originally meant to be so, it has evolved to adopt the nature themed plan of Frederick and Olmsted. There are more than 20 species of waterbirds that visit the Reservoir. There exists in this place Canada Geese, Mallards, Wood Ducks, Northern Shovelers, Buffleheads, and Loons just to mention a few of these birds. This spectacle attracts birdwatchers from far and wide who come to spot birds in this place.

Visitors and residents of New York should, therefore, make a point of visiting the reservoir. They are guaranteed of enjoying breathtaking views of the park and the surrounding cityscape.

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