Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks presents the work of photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who has spent more than three years recording wild places in New York City's parks. Located in all five boroughs, these escapes to the woodlands, streams, waterfronts, marshes, and beaches are among the city's greatest assets, yet they are hidden in plain sight. These wild areas, which have been left or returned to their natural state through the city’s “Forever Wild” initiative, include the craggy highlands of Manhattan, the sea-facing marshes of Brooklyn, the rocky, Maine-like coastline of the Bronx, and the nearly impenetrable forests of Queens and Staten Island. Through his photographs, Meyerowitz transports the viewer into the heart of a lush wilderness, while portraying pockets of nature as an inextricable part of city life today.
Legacy is part of a larger project that was initiated in 2006, when Meyerowitz was asked by Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe to photograph the 29,000 acres maintained and protected by the New York City park system. When completed, the project will constitute the first extended documentation of New York’s parks since the 1930s, when they were photographed for Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA program.