Christopher Morley Park
Christopher Morley Park, set on 98 acres and centrally located in the northern part of the county, has been in the Nassau County park system since 1961. The County paid $704,000 for the property, which was the former estate of Nettie Ryan. The park is named after Christopher Morley, one of the foremost American “men of letters” in the 20th century, a prolific writer who produced more than 50 books, including several popular novels, plays, poetry and essays. He also edited two volumes of “Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations” and was a founder of the Book of the Month Club.
A great deal of Morley's work was done in a functional one-room studio called the “Knothole” (see fuller description in the list below), located on his property in Roslyn Estates on the North Shore and constructed in 1934. “I built myself a pine-wood cabin, as aloofly as a Long Island suburb would permit, to consort with the shade of John Bartlett,” wrote Morley.
In 1966, nine years after Morley’s death, the Christopher Morley Knothole Association, the writer’s friends and neighbors had the Knothole transferred to one of Nassau County’s parks in Roslyn-North Hills, subsequently named Christopher Morley Park. The Knothole, renovated in 2006, includes built-in bookshelves, a fireplace and a bunkbed. But the public has been most intrigued over the years by the Knothole’s “dymaxion” bathroom, which was designed in 1936 by Morley’s friend, Buckminster Fuller, the renowned scientist and inventor. It is a one-piece, pre-assembled unit.
The park provides numerous opportunities for recreation:
- There are five tennis courts;
- four lighted handball/paddleball courts;
- four basketball courts;
- and two paddle-tennis courts.
- Athletic fields include three baseball fields (softball and hardball, including Little League) and volleyball courts.
- A playground provides a variety of activities, including a nontraditional climbing apparatus.
- Hobby enthusiasts can enjoy the 140- by 300-foot boat basin designed for model boats.
- There are unreserved and reserved (fee) picnic areas, which include barbecue equipment.
- Christopher Morley’s outdoor ice skating rink, a community fixture since 1966, was named by News 12 Long Island viewers as the best outdoor skating rink on Long Island. The facility, which is 200-feet by 80-feet, is used by recreational skaters and hockey teams. Group and private lessons are available; skate rentals are also available. The rink opens in early December weather permitting, and remains open through mid-March. Registration for skating lessons Each year the rink hosts its annual "Skating with Santa" event.
- The swimming pool complex includes an Olympic-sized pool, diving tank with boards, and a “kiddie” pool. Lockers and showers are available. The pool opens in late June, and remains open through Labor Day.
- A dog run is located on the north side of the parking lot by the Christopher Morley "Knothole." Please note that dogs are not allowed in any County parks or preserves, with the exception of the dog runs.
- The park features 30 acres of peaceful and beautiful wooded nature trails that provide an ideal area for a leisurely stroll or jogging.
- There are courts for horseshoes and shuffleboard.
- On June 4, 2008, a Farmer's Market began operating at the park on Wednesdays. The market remains open through late November