The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States

Etienne Benson

Teaching the Article

Exercise 2: Bringing the Wild into the City

Vaux and Olmstead Map of Central Park, New York City - Geographicus. From Wikimedia.orgAs U.S. cities grew in size and population density in the late nineteenth century, urban reformers and landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted sought to create green spaces that allowed residents to immerse themselves in nature and to imagine the pastoral life without leaving the city. Olmsted was the designer or co-designer of numerous large urban parks established in the late nineteenth century, including New York’s Central Park. In the late 1870s the director of the Central Park Menagerie (the predecessor of today’s Central Park Zoo) released dozens of squirrels into the Ramble, a section of Central Park intentionally designed to be “wild.”



  1. Map of Central Park from the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Central Park (1870), available at Wikimedia Commons:,_New_York_City_-_Geographicus_-_CentralPark-knapp-1870.jpg
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