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the beauty of nature through a unique lens
Click on image for NPR's remembrance of Charles and for other NPR video and audio clips featuring Charles and his friends.
Charles Francis Kennedy
“I often think of Charles and talk about him at work. One of my favorite things about Charles was how he got me to slow down and look at the park. As Woodland Manager, I am often very busy and I run around the park getting things done. With Charles I would stop and admire the beauty of the park where I work everyday."
Regina Alvarez, former Woodland Manager, Central Park Conservancy
In His Own Words....
I was born and raised in Iowa. For years I believed I should have been born to a New York family. It took me over 20 years to get to New York City. And luckily I was right about my first migration. New York has been my longest love affair. There’s a vibrancy, and excitement, about this magnificent city. But it is just a city. The part that clinches it for me is the color green––the green of a great park. I wouldn’t have to live in New York City, except for Central Park. This park, this square mile and a third, invented in the middle of this major urban space, is as varied and stimulating as the city as a whole. And what I fly to in the park is the birds. The park is used by up to 200 species every year. In the last decade, there have been 268 species recorded in Central Park. During spring migration this magical green spot is a mandatory destination for thousands of birds. They need our park, and it turns out that many of us need them.
I worked as a jeweler for a number of years, with gorgeous stones, minerals, fossils, natural crystals. And that’s what the birds are—only they move. They are these exquisite gem stones, many the weight of a nickel, that can migrate for many thousands of miles and arrive here in this tight little island. Their beauty is extraordinary and the fascination is endless.
From audio tape transcript of Charles preparing material for Frederic Lilien’s documentary film "The Legend of Pale Male."