Area Names for Tompkins Trees Map

Tompkins Trees - Island Names
I’m working hard to get my Tompkins Trees map ready for printing. I’d like community feedback on the names I’m using on the map for the various areas of the map before printing. Most of these areas don’t have official names from the Parks Department or its employees. There are a few that do such as The Sandra Turner Garden, The First Run Dog Park, and The Don Robert’s Garden. Other areas such as the Avenue A Playground, the Oval Garden, the Central Lawn and Central Plaza are commonly used. I’ve given names to the other areas, or Islands as I call them, they are mostly the fenced in areas of the park. I needed to name these areas to keep track of the various trees as I identified them.

Peaceful Grove, the area behind the Park Office, that was formerly reserved for children. Now it is used as a picnic area, and for quiet meditation and Tai Chi. There are also sprinklers for the kids in the summer.

The other areas in the north of the park are the Ballfield and the Exercise areas. This part of the park was created by Robert Moses in the 1930’s.

I’m not sure if there are official names for the two smaller playgrounds. I’ve heard them called the smaller and larger playgrounds on B. I call them the Oak Playground and the Elm Playground because of the predominating trees surrounding them.

I call the fenced in areas immediately west and east of the Central Lawn, No Elm Island and Elm Island Elm Island lost one of its great American Elms this past year. Tompkins Park gardener Deborah Hulse has taken to do much planting in this formerly desolate area, check it out there are now many varied garden plants there now.

The southwest area of the park I call South Park West, because it is a bit anarchistic, and the name amuses me.

Cherry Grove named because of the many cherry trees planted there in recent years.

West Lawn This area has this year been re-seeded and opened to the public though no one seems to know it yet.

Sports Lounge Another tongue-in-cheek name for the area just south of the exercise area.

Wild Backstage Garden is an aspirational name, as I am hoping the Parks Department will plant more native plants in Tompkins. This is adjacent to where the old bandshell used to be and where temporary stages are placed for performances.

10th Central, A North Garden, A Central Garden, A South Garden, 7 East, B South and B North are self explanatory being along Avenue A and B, 7th Street and 10th Street.

Please leave the names you call the various areas of the park in the comments.


  1. graham says:

    October 14, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I’m so glad you’re doing this. Are you going down to the level of individual trees like the old map? Great that you’re getting input, but since you’re doing the work I think you’re entitled to some naming rights. It’ll be interesting to see if different communities of users have different names.

    • Trees says:

      October 14, 2014 at 5:16 pm

      Hi Graham, yes I have all but a couple of the trees identified and they are named on the map. Check the map link on the front page of the site. So far, I’ve been asking people since 2011 what the various areas are called, and most of them have not been given names. I’ve gotten a couple of suggestions that I might follow, I’m hoping for more.

  2. says:

    October 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Id like to see some trees named in honor of some of the children and people that died on the general Slocum . They were going to have a day off and a picnic but because of people being selfish and greedy they lost their lives . The monument near the peaceful grove is in honor of them. ……… : “The crew distributed life jackets, but they too were rotten. Boats sped to the scene and pulled a few passengers to safety, but mostly they encountered bodies “………………………. It would be nice if these people had their time but since they cant maybe in honoring them we can remind ourselves the cost of selfishness and greed and avoid it !

    • Trees says:

      October 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Hi RevChas, I’m looking for names that have some established history or are uniquely descriptive of the areas. I don’t think giving them the names of the victims of this tragedy would really stick in the minds of people or ever be generally used. But if you would like to write up a memorial about the Slocum disaster and the victims, I’d be glad to post it on the blog.

  3. Leslie Steven says:

    October 15, 2014 at 10:13 am

    A couple of days ago, while in the park, we placed an emergency call to the police to report a crime in progress. We were shocked by the operators lack of ability to geographically locate areas of the park. However, she did ask us whether we could tell her if the crime was near “Playground A” or “Playground B”, apparently existing names on a map she was looking at. Though very unromantic, playground names that reference the street they are closest to, could enhance park safety and the police departments ability to provide the fastest response, especially if the playgrounds had identifying signage. Therefore I propose the Avenue B Oak Playground and the 7th Street Elm Playground. It would be wonderful if emergency operators were able to access your map and the given names were signed and fell into common usage. Thank you for your fantastic project!

  4. rob says:

    October 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    It might be good to call the basketball courts “the basketball courts” and the handball courts “the handball courts” so that those without maps know what’s being referred to. (Meet you at the Exercise. Where’s that? You know, the basketball courts. — Giving names to gardens adds distinctive useful information about a location that would otherwise be difficult to describe, calling all the courts “Exercise” subtracts or hides useful information.)
    May I suggest that the monkey bars between the courts be called “The ParKour” since, being the most complex monkey bars in the city, it attracts parkourists from all five boroughs and is internationally known through many youtube videos? Also it would be a cool name and would record an interesting history for future generations.
    The “Central Plaza” is also useful (but I’ll still call it “The Non Bandshell”). (-;
    The 9th Street walk through should have a name too. I’d like to call the 9th Street pass “The Little Bowery.” Also the South West corner used to be the Slavic corner and still has the Paderewski tree and its plaque. That’s an important history and could be recorded in the map as “The Slavic Corner” or “The Slavic Chess Boards” or “The Paderewski Chess” or some such.
    Thanks for your beautiful work, Michael!

    • Trees says:

      October 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Rob, all useful input, thanks. The Paderewski Red Oak was recently cut down, very sad. I’ve indicated parkour for the monkey bars on more detailed versions of the map, I’ll make sure to do it again. I should indicate the rubberized areas as well. Each basketball hoop is indicated with an icon. I’d call it the Exercise Yard, but that sounds too much like prison. The handball courts will be indicated on the map, these names are just the general areas, but people could indicate where they want to meet with compass point directions.

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