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The Battery's New 2-Acre Lawn Opens This Weekend With 90-Vendor Fair

 The Battery Oval — a new, 90,000-sqaure-foot piece of the Lower Manhattan park — is opening this weekend.
The Battery Oval — a new, 90,000-sqaure-foot piece of the Lower Manhattan park — is opening this weekend.
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The Battery

FINANCIAL DISTRICT — A new, massive swath of greenery is opening up at the tip of Manhattan.

The Battery's expansive acreage is adding some 90,000 square feet to its parkland, in the shape of a huge grassy oval.

Courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

The Battery Oval, a portion of 25-acre Battery Park that was once covered with asphalt, will celebrate its verdant grand opening this weekend, with a festival of 90 local vendors and farmers, selling food, produce and a host of plants, seeds, flowers and crafts.

"We're just thrilled to finally have this monumental lawn opened," said Warrie Price, president of The Battery Conservancy, the nonprofit in charge of the park. "This is a lush, special place — it's Downtown's new backyard, Downtown's new meeting place."

The festival "will showcase small batch entrepreneurs" curated by the conservancy and its advisers, including Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Price said, to create a fair that "promotes biodiversity and healthy eating through horticulture and agriculture."

The sellers will each have a spot in specially designed market stands that encircle the new lawn — a lawn the conservancy says was created with toxin and synthetic-fertilizer free Kentucky bluegrass.

Rendering courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

To keep the grassy oval more peaceful, Price said, all of the vendor stands face away from the lawn. "We hope people will walk along the promenade of vendors — a circle that's one-seventh of a mile long — then be able to come inside this oasis," she said.

Also making its debut this weekend will be specially designed, powder blue chairs scattered throughout the Oval. The flower-shaped steel chairs, called Fleurt, were picked through an international design competition, in 2014.

Courtesy of The Battery Conservancy

While the food and flower festival will only last this weekend, Price said they hope to have future markets and host other events.

"This space can hold 8,000 people," she said. "The possibilities for regular green markets or concerts and movies are truly exciting."

The Battery Fair is slated to run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information about vendors, head to the The Battery Conservancy's website.