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The campaign launched by birkenhead.news to twin Birkenhead Park with Central Park in New York has moved a step closer after the proposal was brought up at last night’s full council meeting.
The 140-acre Birkenhead Park was designed by Joseph Paxton and opened on 5 April 1847 by Lord Morpeth and thousands of people attended the ceremony. It is generally acknowledged as the first publicly funded civic park in the world.
New York’s Central Park is an urban park in New York City. It is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 42 million visitors annually, and is the most filmed location in the world.
The design of Central Park in New York was laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted who was inspired by his 1850 visit to Birkenhead Park, meaning that links between the two urban parks have been there since the beginning.
To add your name to this historic campaign, you can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/wirral-council-twin-birkenhead-park-wirral-with-central-park-new-york
On his first visit to Birkenhead Park, F. L. Olmsted said that “all this magnificent pleasure-ground is entirely, unreservedly, and for ever the people’s own”
Olmsted coined the term ‘the People’s Garden’ and he would eventually go on to design Central Park in New York, based on the social and economic models of Birkenhead Park.
Doug Blonsky, President and CEO of Central Park New York visited Birkenhead Park in 2013, remarking that “without Birkenhead Park, there would be no Central Park and without Central Park, there would be no New York City.” This was a welcome reminder of the far-reaching influence that Birkenhead Park and its designers have had on other parts of the world.
The idea of “twinning” the parks will not only officially commemorate the inseparable links, striking similarities, and shared vision between the two parks, and the 175th anniversary of Birkenhead Park but will also build links between the two districts that “came of age” at the same time during the 19th century.
At the council meeting, Bidston and St. James Labour Councillor, Liz Grey, said, “There’s a lot of really exciting stuff happening at this well-loved park. We hope that it will be twinned, and that we can progress that with Central Park.”
Following the council meeting, Cllr Grey told us, “I welcome this petition from birkenhead.news and it was great that George Davies asked me about the twinning of Birkenhead Park with Central Park in New York as I know how involved he has been with the park and how important it is to him.
“He’s right to be proud of it as it is a fantastic asset for all residents and visitors and I welcome the petition to request that it is twinned with Central Park in New York, which as we all know was inspired by Birkenhead Park.
“I’m really grateful to the fantastic teams who look after Birkenhead Park and keep it looking so good on our increasing stretched budget.
“I know George and I agree that both the Birkenhead Park team from the Council and the Friends of Birkenhead Park do such impressive work all year round that international recognition would be thoroughly well deserved.”
One person who signed the petition summed it up nicely; “It will give Birkenhead Park more national and international recognition and allow greater exchange of ideas for how parks are appreciated in the 21st Century.”
You can sign the petition by visiting this link: https://www.change.org/p/wirral-council-twin-birkenhead-park-wirral-with-central-park-new-york
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