NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Mayor Michael Bloomberg broke ground Thursday on a new public park coming to Governors Island.
The Hills will be made of recycled construction and fill materials.
The summit of the tallest Hill, 80 feet above sea level, will provide visitors with a 360-degree panorama of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Lower Manhattan skyline, according to the city.
The designers of the 12-acre park on the south shore of Governors Island looked to the past and took into account the realities of the present, Bloomberg said.
“Once planted, The Hills will be a part of the island’s natural landscape. Much like the manmade hills Olmsted and Vaux designed in Central Park a century and a half ago. And they’ll be built resiliently taking into account our changing climate,” Bloomberg told reporters including WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond.
Bloomberg kicked off the campaign to raise money for the project starting with Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy, who contributed $15 million.
“I do believe that this place will become one of the best-loved places in New York City,” Wendy Schmidt said.
So far, a total of $36 million has been raised for the $70 million project.
The park is slated to open in the spring of 2015.
Mayor Bloomberg broke ground in May of 2012 on 30 acres of new parkland on Governors Island. This first phase of park, which includes Hammock Grove, Play Lawn and Liggett Terrace is on schedule to be completed in 2013, according to the city.
The Hills add another 11 acres of public park space to the 30 acres previously announced as well as the green spaces in the Island’s National Historic District which have also been enhanced in the last year.
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