Making a Real Difference: High Line Story

Deepen Your Experience.  That’s what the sign says the app will do for you.  Well, here’s a great experience I’ve had that has in fact, Deepened MY Experience on the planet.  Here’s the story folks:

Watching an episode of Growing a Greener World this Autumn, I learned of an elevated rail line, built in 1929.

It served a city well for 20-30 years, but then trucking in the 50’s and 60’s made the line obsolete.

By 1980 the line stopped bringing goods into the city. For over 2 decades it remain abandoned. Then in the early part of 2000’s, the city announced the line would be demolished.  Enter one young history major resident: Robert Hammond, working in the Start-up and Marketing industries enters this story.

He wanted to save it, but what to do with it? He went to his first ever Community Board Meeting and found great empathy. But one other dude, Josh David, also felt the line was worth saving.

They began an effort to put their ideas on a map. Long story short: in 2006 Restoration began. And, the goal? Take that 1.5 mile rail line and convert it into an urban park. And that’s what they’ve done.

Hence, my most recent trip to New York City was solely and expressly to see this very park. I was not concerned that the winter would not yield the greens, I had learned that summer growth is allowed to remain until the following Spring so that frost, snow, and winter straw-like color could be highlighted. And man, I was NOT disappointed. What a great place! (These first “green” photos are from the t.v. episode).

Literally, over 1/2 of all U.S.A. native plants have been placed here. 30% are from the northeast, yes, but the rest?  Yup, brought in, along with soils to sustain them, from the rest introduced species from the rest of the country. Wild flowers, wild grasses, wild shrubs, etc.

I mean, it was a great wLk. There’s a ton of new construction going on right now, – unique modern architecture – that will and does create different frost zones, wind directions (30 feet above the ground and next to the Hudson River brings unique challenges to plants as it is), that require transplantings. Trees grow in soils up to 36 inches deep, but most other plants grow in 9 to 18 inches of soil. Ah, MY photos:

New residential design is as exciting as that now on the Chicago River in THAT city, build in the 70’s. (That’s a topic for a future post, but oh, one not to be missed – I promise ya!)  Check out this “beehive” below:

Was I cold? Only in the shade. Otherwise, it was a great walk.

Ya never forget you are in the heart of New York City, and still, this outdoor oasis removed ya from the street level buzz. I love this place. I love the colors there. I love the pace of New York, but I love the respite from it too by walking elevated above it all.

So kudos to Robert, and then Josh who joined him, and then to the next ten, and the hundred after them, and the thousands that volunteer and pull weeds, cut back in Spring for summer growth. Last year 7.5 million people visited the High Line. It’s weaved it’s way into the cultural fabric of Manhattan’s lower West side.  That more than that visit the Metropolitan Museum (but go there too!)

Go to and type in High Line in the search space at the top right side. That will direct you to the episode to watch for yourself –  that is, if you are interested in learning more. And, also, You Tube “High Line Park” to take your own virtual tour of this amazing place. Go ahead, treat yourself, enjoy it, Deepen Your Experience.  And, as always…

Be Well, Do Good.

1 thought on “Making a Real Difference: High Line Story”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this delightful story!
    You have reminded me, yet again, what positives we can accomplish if we simply follow our vision.

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