Four Freedoms State Park, known for serenity cushioning the surging city around it, is also home for seasonal swells of color. This autumn, it’s a symphony in gold.
By David Stone
A Golden Autumn in Four Freedoms State Park
Quiet lanes decorated with golden leaves all around welcome visitors with new colors and the serenity for absorbing the seasons.
In the moment, lingering remnants of summer ease slowly into autumn.
Along with flawless park maintenance, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation interferes less with nature’s rhythms. Fallen leaves, a golden brushstroke softening harder surfaces…
This opens Four Freedoms State Park for planned events by its governing conservancy. Between Four Freedoms, an expansive consideration of contemporary influences in public art, continues through November.
FDR Four Freedoms State Park is, first, a people’s park, space for getting away from the city without getting too far away from the city.
As a counterpoint, the beech grove, a natural welcome center in the park, holds on, photosynthesis stubbornly churning, rinsing urban air.
A golden meadow… with an urban backdrop.
The first time I walked this meadow, circa 2011, I was with congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. The park wouldn’t open for another year, and our shoes sunk in more mud than grass. Landscapers were planting the last of these trees.
Republicans had just taken back Congress, the year before.
“It must be unpleasant working in the House, now…” I said.
“Not,” she answered, “when I can do something like this!” She’d steered half-a-million from the federal budget into building the park.
The process, green to gold, nears its end, setting the stage for melancholy days in winter.
But the heart of it all is still President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s transformative declaration of the Four Freedoms, which carved the progressive future of democracies around the world.
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