Before Central Park, there was Seneca Village: a thriving, autonomous Black community.
First open to the public in 1858, New York’s Central Park is one of the oldest parks in the United States. But prior to the establishment of the park, the land was home to a community of predominantly free Black residents.
The Wilderness Society acknowledge that the land we now call Central Park was and is the traditional home of the Lenape people. We recognize Native American and Indigenous peoples as the original and enduring inhabitants and stewards of the land. We respect their inherent sovereignty and self-determination and honor treaty rights, including reserved rights that exist off their reservation.