NYC Parks Department to offer first-ever tours of Hart Island

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023
NYC Parks Department to offer first-ever tours of Hart Island
Marcus Solis has more on the new parks initiative.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- For the first time ever, the NYC Parks Department will be offering public tours of Hart Island, the largest public cemetery in the country.

The free tours, organized by the Urban Park Rangers, will give people a chance to explore parts of the island and learn about its history as a key piece of the city's infrastructure.

The hope is that the tours will also help destigmatize its past.

Management of the cemetery was transferred from the Department of Correction to the Parks Department and the the NYC Human Resources Association in 2021.

Since then, the island has undergone major upgrades, including the demolition of aging buildings, planting of new trees, and other beautification efforts.

"We're thrilled to begin offering free public history tours of Hart Island, allowing New Yorkers an intimate look at the island for the very first time," said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue. "Our Urban Park Rangers have created informative and reflective programming that highlights the island's important role in New York City history."

Walking tours will be offered twice a month starting on November 21.

Registration is required through an online form and participants will be selected by lottery.

All public history tours are done on foot and last approximately 2.5 hours, with ferry transportation provided to and from Hart Island.

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