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Gentrification Forces Out Washington Square Park Natives

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Back when the Washington Square Park renovation wasn't a certainty, some wondered?on blogs and in lawsuits?what the many months of heavy-duty construction would mean for the park's many full-time residents: the animals, and specifically, the rats. Well, the Villager has an answer:

In an important piece of news, Becky Ferguson, Washington Square Park administrator, assured everyone that the park — including the mounds, formerly a rampant residence for rats — is now virtually rat free. "There have been almost no rats," she said. "I haven't seen a rat in the park in 10 months."

While you ponder where, then, the rats have gone (let's just say we won't be eating on West 4th anytime soon), the Villager also has an update on those three Washington Square Park asphalt mounds?the loved/hated "urban playground" element of the park. They will be rebuilt just as tall as the old mounds, but in a "sunken" fashion so that they're not visible from elsewhere in the park. Also, they will be covered in that controversial artificial FieldTurf, and a footbridge and climbing nets will connect two of the mounds. The rats really should have seen this coming when the tight-jeans-wearing, iPhone-toting squirrels moved to the area.
· Mounds of talk about mounds and park renovation’s phase 2 [Villager]
· Washington Sq. Park Mounds: They're Spectacular, But Are They Real? [Curbed]