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Behind the Scenes: The Secret Paths of the High Line

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[Photos by Will Femia.]

During our stroll up the now-open-to-the-public Section 2 of The High Line, we noticed a path (above) off to the side of the woodland flyover, accessible only by High Line staff. Our curiosity was piqued! So in honor of Outdoors Week, Curbed photog Will Femia trekked over to the High Line in the early hours of the morning. Above, his behind-the-scenes look at how the High Line's staff takes care of the park. The maintenance staff (all employees of Friends of the High Line) is based by the spur, but the crew spends the day going back and forth to various parts of the park, adding up to as much as five miles of walking per day. Hey, it's not easy looking pretty.
Each staff member has an assigned area of the park, but the duties for each section are similar. The High Line curates its plant choices carefully, but weeds still find their way in?from birds, the wind, or even neighboring rooftops and gardens?so much of the staff's work involves weeding. Then there's monitoring the park's irrigation system, which is centrally controlled but dispenses water to different parts of the park based on staff members' assessments of how thirsty the plants are. (A liner that looks like egg packing sits under the park to hold some water.)

Of course, the High Line isn't just about nature?it's also about $3 artisanal popsicles! So in addition to the maintenance responsibilities, the park staff helps the vendors set up. Cucumber-limesicle, anyone?
· Here Now, an Impressionistic Stroll Up Phase 2 of The High Line [Curbed]