Central Park was designed in 1858 by Fredrick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux and it became the Nation's First Public Park. Between 16 and 20 million people visit the park each year. The park is home to squirrels, birds, fish, rabbits, turtles, frogs and other animals. There are 42 species of birds year round and close to 300 species have been sighted in the park.
The park is made up of 840 acres, 150 acres of water and 690 acres of land. It is 2.5 miles long and .5 miles wide. There are 58 miles of pedestrian paths, 6 miles of vehicle drives and almost 5 miles of bridle paths.
There are over 26, 000 trees, 30 tennis courts, 26 ball fields, two ice skating rinks, and one swimming pool. The Metropolitan Opera schedules two performances every June on the Great Lawn. The Delacorte Theatre has "Shakespeare in the Park" from mid June through the end of August each year. The Central Park Summerstage, located at Rumsey Playground - E. 72 St. and the East Drive, has free performances from June through the beginning of August on Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm. The New York Grand Opera has free performances at various times throughout the summer.