One of the great assets of the Morningside community is of course, the historic Morningside Park.  Morningside Park is named for the sunny eastern side of the cliff that separates Morningside Heights from Harlem in Northern Manhattan. It is one of four designated Historic Harlem Parks. The park was designed by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the co-designers of Central and Prospect Parks, and completed in 1895.

Improvements to the park in the first half of the 20th century were unfortunately followed by a precipitous decline in the second half of the century.  In an important act of civic leadership, in 1981, a Columbia University undergraduate named Tom Kiel led the formation of Friends of Morningside Park to halt the deteriorating condition and avoid the obliteration of original historic design. The recovery of the park over the last three decades has been dramatic, with renovations completed for most areas of the park and the introduction of wonderful news features, including the waterfall and children playground.

In continuing the tradition of civic engagement in preservation and enhancement of the park, Friends of Morningside Park is hosting its bi-annual Its My Park Volunteer Day this Saturday, October 23rd, from 10am to 2pm.  This event will focus on replanting the entry garden at 116th Street on the lower level of the park. Recommendation to wear work clothes and close toed shoes and get ready to get dirty! Work gloves and tools will be provided. For more information see their website at

So come on out. It’s a great way to work out and meet your neighbors!