November 2, 2009

Tree Walk: Inside Sir Winston Churchill Square at Downing Street Playground

Going around in a circle has negative associations unless you are walking a labyrinth or walking inside Sir Winston Churchill Square; these circular walks are delightful! The small square, 0.05 acres, is located at 6th Avenue and Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, NYC. (I had forgotten the name of the square between visiting it and writing this post. I could not locate the square or its name on the NYC Parks Department website. I looked at an area map on the Parks website, saw the Downing Street Playground, and searched for "park near Downing Street Playground," and found the name of the square. Phew! The square is considered a part of the playground and thus is not mapped separately.)

The square's sitting area was designed by George Vellonakis and built between 1998 and 1999 (the original parcel was purchased in 1943). The square is organized like an arboretum with specimen trees tagged with name plates. Among the trees are:

Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Zelkova (Zelkova serrata)

Redbud (Cercis canadensis) or is it a Katsura (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)?

Canopies of Japanese Sophora (Sophora japonica, left) and hawthorn (Crataegus genus)

Dogwood (Cornus genus)

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