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Michael Strahan Ushers in Spring By Mowing Central Park's Sheep Meadow

By Emily Frost | April 2, 2013 2:04pm

UPPER WEST SIDE — Michael Strahan, the former New York Giants star and host of the morning talk show Kelly and Michael, marked the beginning of spring in Central Park by giving the parkland its first mow since the fall. 

The 41-year-old climbed aboard a motorized mower at the park's iconic 15-acre Sheep Meadow Tuesday, braving cold winds, to mow part of the field in anticipation of its opening this Saturday.

Strahan was invited by the Central Park Conservancy, which employs 200 people full time to maintain the park.

"You know someone's doing a good job when you don't even realize it," Strahan commented on the Conservancy's work — which includes grooming 57,000 flowers and shrubs, hauling 108 tons of sand and 85 tons of mulch, and maintaining 14,000 sprinkler heads and 26 ball fields. 

Central Park welcomes 40 million visitors each year, said Conservancy President and CEO Douglas Blonsky, while "25 years ago we had maybe 10 million people."

"The kids love the park because it's their backyard," said Strahan of his eight-year-old twin daughters Sophia and Isabella.

Central Park's ball fields and lawns will officially open 
to the public on April 6th.